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Swindler imprisoned for trust account fraud

01 May 2015 Staff Reporter

A strata company director has been jailed after putting tenants’ lives at risk as part of a $67,000 fraud.

Jason Christopher Hext of Strataco Strata was found guilty of routinely transferring funds out of trust accounts for the personal use of him and his wife, according to NSW Fair Trading.

Mr Hext managed seven strata plans, each of which had individual trust accounts, and committed the fraud over a six-month period, according to NSW Fair Trading.

The fraud was discovered when the electricity was disconnected at one of Mr Hext’s buildings.

NSW Fair Trading commissioner Rod Stowe welcomed the verdict and said it sent a sharp warning to anyone operating outside the law.

“This case involved the blatant misappropriation of funds by an individual which ended up in a building being without power, rubbish collection, cleaning services or fire services, putting all of the tenants, some of whom were elderly, at real and significant risk,” he said.

Mr Hext paid himself monthly management fees well in excess of what was agreed, and paid his wife fees for purported business activity statements preparation and auditing - none of which took place.

Mr Hext was sentenced to a term of 12 months of imprisonment, with a non-parole period of seven months. He has also been banned from operating as a real estate agent until 2022.

Mr Hext will appeal the severity of the sentence at the Parramatta District Court on April 29.

[Related: New regulation designed to eliminate ‘damaging cowboys’]

Swindler imprisoned for trust account fraud
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