Former Cobden estate agent David Steel pleads guilty to mismanagement of clients' money

Former Cobden estate agent David Steel pleads guilty to mismanagement of clients' money
Former Cobden estate agent David Steel pleads guilty to mismanagement of clients' money

David Steel, a former Cobden estate agent has been sentenced to three months’ jail after pleading guilty to almost 40 charges relating to mismanagement of his clients’ money, according to Consumer Affairs Victoria

David Alexander Scott Steel, 57, was convicted last month in Warrnambool County Court of 37 charges concerning trust account deficiencies and defalcations. These included fraudulently converting trust money in breach of the Estate Agents Act 1980.

It was reported on his charging that Mr Steel was the sole director of the company when more than $450,000 was found to be missing from the account of Realestate Property Pty Ltd.

Mr Steel also gave an undertaking to the court to be of good behaviour for two years.

Judge Michael O'Connell said Steel's business approach was "inept and cavalier," The Warranabool Standard reported.

The company, Realestate Property Pty Ltd (ACN: 114 758 217), trading as 'David Steel First National', was also convicted and fined $10,000.

Mr Steel and the company also pleaded guilty to a charge of failure to lodge bonds, in breach of the Residential Tenancies Act 1997.

Under Victorian laws, an estate agent has strict obligations to deposit clients’ money into a relevant trust account.

The Warrnambool lawyer Kiernan Celestina represented Mr Steel who moved to Vietnam and was travelling back to Australia to attend court.

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Jail Real Estate Agents

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