Ensure you never miss an issue of the
real estate business bulletin
Trust account breaches land agent $100,000 fine

Trust account breaches land agent $100,000 fine

by Reporter 2 comments

Simon Parker

A Gold Coast real estate agent who used trust account funds to keep his business afloat has been convicted and fined $100,000 in the Southport Magistrates Court.

The QLD Office of Fair Trading said Wilen Pty Ltd, trading as Wilson Allen Real Estate Agents, was fined $100,000 and licensed director, Jeffrey Dean Allen, was ordered to complete 240 hours of community service for 26 counts of permitting unauthorised drawings from trust accounts in breach of the Property Agents and Motor Dealers Act 2000.

Mr Allen entered a guilty plea.

According to the QLD Office of Fair Trading, the court heard Mr Allen’s illegal transactions included withdrawing commissions before sale contracts had settled. No conviction was recorded against Mr Allen, and he has surrendered his real estate licence and is no longer operating as an agent.

Office of Fair Trading Executive Director Brian Bauer said Mr Allen admitted to the breaches, saying he withdrew the money because the business’ cash flow was suffering from the global financial crisis.

“The Office of Fair Trading received advice from an auditor in February 2011 that shortfalls of up to $164,000 had been detected,” Mr Bauer said.

“An investigation by Fair Trading revealed multiple withdrawals from the company’s trust account, including one of $75,000 on 30 November 2010 which did not relate to any transaction.

“Mr Allen told Fair Trading officers he started making the withdrawals to keep the doors of the business open and the staff paid, and intended to pay all the money back. However, the Office of Fair Trading will not tolerate traders misusing funds held in trust.

“Trust money means exactly what it says– it is money held in trust for someone else,” Mr Bauer said.

“In the case of a real estate agent’s trust account, the owners of the trust money are generally people selling their home, or renting a property, through the agent.

“Trust money is never a private source of funds for an agent to call on when money is tight.

“The penalty was imposed to reflect the seriousness of these types of offences and to act as a deterrent to others who may attempt to engage in this illegal conduct.”

le>.b-autolinks{text-decoration:underline}.b-autolinkshadowbox { display: inline; position: relative; cursor: pointer; color: #428bca;} .b-autolinkshadowbox:hover > span { display: block !important; } .b-autolinkshadowbox__links { white-space: nowrap; z-index: 999; display: none; left: 0; border: 1px solid #bfbfbf; border-radius: 5px; font-size: 12px; top: 12px;color: #000; padding: 10px; position: absolute; background-color: #FFF; box-shadow: 0px 0px 20px 1px #bfbfbf; } .b-autolinkshadowbox__links > a { display: block; padding: 3px 0; }
Trust account breaches land agent $100,000 fine
lawyersweekly logo
promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
Listen to other installment of the Real Estate Business Podcast
reb top 100 agents 2017

The REB Top 100 Agents ranking is the foremost ranking of agents in Australia. It has set the bar for excellence in Australian real estate. To be ranked as an REB Top 100 Agent is the standard real estate professionals strive for. See the full 2018 ranking here!

featured podcast

featured podcast
An industry where the resilient succeeds

Tim Heavyside believes that a strong support team and good foundations are paramount to success in the real estate industry, and with regu...

View all podcasts

Would you consider working for Purplebricks or a similar 'DIY' model?

Yes (7.2%)
No (80.9%)
Perhaps - make me an offer (12%)

Total votes: 209
The voting for this poll has ended on: July 13, 2018
Do you have an industry update?