A former Melbourne real estate agent has been jailed for misappropriating hundreds of thousands of dollars of her clients’ money, following the jailing of her husband as part of the same scheme a little over a year ago.
Truc Thanh Nguyen, also known as Judy Nguyen, has been jailed for 20 months after pleading guilty to misusing more than $800,000 of clients’ money, according to Nine News.
County court judge Michael Bourke called it a serious failure of trust, as he handed down the sentence.
According to Nine News, the judge said the behaviour was dishonest and that she benefitted from the crime, which related to 11 properties.
“These are not just financial transactions for many people,” Judge Bourke said.
Her husband Tri Duc Ngo, who also goes by Joseph Ngo, was jailed for five years in March 2018 for misappropriating millions of dollars of his clients’ money.
Consumer Affairs Victoria had commenced criminal proceedings against the pair in early 2017, after complaints about missing money began to surface.
The action was brought against the pair after they were embroiled in a scandal that shook Melbourne’s eastern and south-eastern suburbs last year, leaving home owners and tenants millions of dollars out of pocket.
After client complains about the missing money surfaced in April 2017, Nguyen claimed that it had been lost after their office accounts had been hacked. She blamed Ngo for the missing cash.
Nguyen and Ngo were married at the time the alleged offences took place, but they are now believed to be separated.