A former property manager from Run Property has been jailed after stealing $580,000 through a web of fake invoices and contractors.
Between late 2005 and mid-2011, Leigh Aizen issued 438 fake invoices to his employer and dozens of invoices for uncompleted maintenance to some of the owners of the 600 homes under his management.
Mr Aizen made up the contracting companies and sent the money through a trail of international banks under multiple names.
An internal investigation by Ernst & Young revealed several owners of rental properties managed by Run Property had been falsely invoiced for maintenance work that was never undertaken.
One victim, Whitton Holdings, incurred losses of $240,000 in the frauds.
The court heard that the "elaborate" and "sophisticated" scheme was set up due to pressure from Mr Aizen’s then-partner to maintain her extravagant lifestyle.
But the breach of trust of his employers and clients led County Court judge Gabriele Cannon to sentence Mr Aizen to a minimum of 15 months' prison.
"At the end of the day it was your decision to remain in the relationship with your [then] partner and commit the offences which I now sentence you," the judge said.
That said, Mr Aizen may have got off lightly due to his generous character, as he had previously bought a car for his mother, looked after his grandmother when his grandfather died, performed voluntary work for the Salvation Army and cared for the young child of a person with a disability.
The property manager has also since repaid $450,000 of the $580,000, and intends to pay back the remaining balance.
"This was no spur of the moment offending ... but a lengthy course of conduct which you continued until you were discovered," Judge Cannon said.