In another coup for NSW Fair Trading, a Hawkesbury-based real estate agent and director has received an 18-month jail sentence after stealing over $300,000 from the company’s trust account.
Louise Catherine Sultana was convicted in Parramatta Local Court last week of fraudulently converting $208,639 from her company’s sales trust account and $55,062 from her company’s rental trust account for her own use.
She was also convicted of failing to lodge rental bond funds totaling $66,650.
The arrest came as part of NSW Fair Trading's annual real estate audit program, according to Fair Trading commissioner Rod Stowe.
“Dipping into a trust account is stealing and Fair Trading will vigorously pursue any real estate agent who helps themselves to funds they are supposed to hold in trust,” he said.
Just last year a Sydney commercial real estate, Patrick Scott, received a one-year jail sentence after stealing over $800,000 from the company's trust account.
Ms Sultana has agreed to pay $349,457.03 to the Property Services Compensation Fund.
The office, which had seven sales pending and was managing 75 properties, is no longer in operation.
Ms Sultana has lodged an appeal against her sentence, believing the jail term is too severe. She was granted conditional bail by the court, subject to her surrendering her passport.