Real estate identity skips court, leaves country

A Queensland real estate figure accused of trust breaches has failed to appear at a district court after fleeing the country.

The Office of Fair Trading said that Alistair Frank McCreath from the Sunshine Coast breached bail and fled overseas to his native South Africa instead of attending a scheduled appearance in the Maroochydore District Court.

Mr McCreath was charged by the Office of Fair Trading “following a complex investigation involving several local and international consumer and police agencies”.

The charges relate to the attempted sale of five properties in Detroit, US, totalling $320,000, to an Australian consumer, according to the Office of Fair Trading.

It is alleged that the investor paid Mr McCreath $320,000 to buy five particular properties, only to be told shortly after that they were no longer available.

According to the regulator, when the investor asked for his money back, he was told that Mr McCreath had purchased five substitute properties and that he would need to sell those properties before he could provide the refund.

Fair Trading alleged that Mr McCreath then sold four of the properties to other Sunshine Coast consumers, and failed to reimburse the original investor.

Mr McCreath was due to stand trial to answer charges relating to fraud under the criminal code, wrongful conversion of trust money and improperly dealing with trust money.

An arrest warrant has been issued by the Maroochydore District Court, according to Fair Trading.

[Related: Judge orders agency to be named and shamed]

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