A former real estate agent has pleaded guilty to stealing more than $1 million from the trust funds of property owners.
The Strata Agency, a strata management company that collected levies from about 5,500 landlords in 240 Sydney apartment and commercial buildings, came under investigation by NSW Fair Trading last year over alleged irregularities in their business dealings, according to Fairfax.
The founder and managing director of the company, Rachael Kwawegen, has now been charged with misappropriating more than $1 million of landlords’ trust fund monies.
Ms Kwawegen was a real estate agent for 15 years before founding The Strata Agency, and championed a ‘boutique’ style of management by undercutting competitors, paying staff overs and targeting some of Sydney’s most prestige apartments.
She said her company was “focused on providing sound administrative, secretarial and maintenance services to strata title properties with a special focus on creating a peaceful and harmonious environment for owners and occupants to reside … The Strata Agency assures your strata owners respect, honesty, expertise and excellence.”
Fairfax reported that a property owner of one building contracted under The Strata Agency “didn’t lose any money in the end”.
“We’d only just taken them on when rumours started circulating that they were in trouble, so we got out quickly,” the owner said.
Ms Kwawegen will be sentenced at Parramatta Local Court in September.