A Milton property manager has been banned from working in the real estate industry and ordered to pay $75,000 in compensation after she pleaded guilty to stealing from clients.
According to NSW Fair Trading, Adele Woods, formerly a senior property manager at Tucker’s Real Estate in Mollymook, transferred money from the real estate company’s trust account to her personal bank accounts on 50 separate occasions between December 2016 and April 2019 while employed by the agency.
She reportedly made false entries in Tucker Real Estate’s books “in an attempt to cover up her illegal activity”.
Prosecution by NSW Police resulted from an investigation into a complaint about Ms Woods that had been made by the licensee of Tucker Real Estate to NSW Fair Trading.
According to NSW Fair Trading executive director of investigations and enforcement Valerie Griswold, the defendant’s actions had caused significant pain and suffering.
She said: “The defendant betrayed the trust of her clients by stealing from them.”
“While Tuckers Real Estate was not involved in the fraud, the company suffered significant losses in the period after it was uncovered.”
As a result, she flagged that the company was forced to rebrand to continue operating.
At her sentencing on 17 September 2021, the defendant’s guilty plea resulted in a real estate industry ban and an order that requires the payment of $75,000 in compensation.
She was also placed on a three-year good behaviour bond and ordered to complete 300 hours of community service.