A Victorian business owner’s failed appeal against his prison sentence is the latest in what Consumer Affairs Victoria is calling a clear warning to agencies.
Daniel McNamara was imprisoned last week after pleading guilty to fraudulently using approximately $155,000 in trust money and was sentenced to 12 months’ imprisonment with nine months' suspended sentence for two years.
Mr McNamara appeared in the County Court of Victoria last week to appeal against the sentence. However, he abandoned the appeal and went into custody at the court to serve his sentence of three months’ imprisonment.
Consumer Affairs Victoria director Claire Noone said the success of the agency's ongoing state-wide real estate agent trust account inspection program sends a clear message to those tempted to abuse the trust placed in them.
“Consumer Affairs Victoria will continue to crack down on the misuse of trust account money and will not tolerate this kind of abuse of trust. The court's decisions in these matters illustrates that offenders will not escape lightly," Dr Noone said.
"There is no excuse for agents to flout the law; Consumer Affairs Victoria provides assistance for estate agents to ensure they understand and meet their obligations. You do the wrong thing and prison awaits."
Mr McNamara operated First National Real Estate Maurice McNamara and Co in Numurkah, and has been operating for a decade.