After his employee was charged last year for stealing $160,000 in trust fund money to fuel his gambling addiction, the agent’s father and employer has also been fined.
According to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT), as the officer in effective control of City Residential Real Estate, Riad Mindraoui failed to supervise the actions of his son, Nadim Mindraoui, who was working as the agency’s accounts manager when he took the funds between December 2010 and April 2012.
The tribunal ordered that City Residential Real Estate pay $2,500 and Mr Mindraoui senior $5,000 to the Victorian Property Fund.
VCAT also ordered City Residential Real Estate Pty Ltd to engage a qualified auditor to perform six-monthly audits of its trust accounts and provide copies to Consumer Affairs Victoria, and for Mr Riad Mindraoui and staff who handle trust account money to complete training in trust account management as part of a conduct compliance program.
“There was no-one out of pocket. Everything was replaced and managed and taken care of immediately,” he said.
“He is my son and he did do the wrong thing ... I actually, out of my own pocket, paid for all the expenses and anything that I needed to do to rectify the situation.
“I want to make sure it’s handled by a professional and something like that never happens again,” he said.
Under the act, the principal agent or officer in effective control is responsible for the acts of their agents’ representatives (anything done or not done) if those actions benefit, or were intended to benefit, the agent or agency.
The principal agent or officer in effective control is personally liable for any money the agent’s representative receives on behalf of the agency.