Queensland estate agency Julies Realty fined $18,000 for $144,000 trust account breaches

Another estate agent has been caught using money held in trust for clients for its own business purposes.

The Queensland Office of Fair Trading fined Brisbane-based Christopher Midas Pty Ltd, trading as Julies Realty, $18,000, while director Phuc Ngoc Huynh (aka Julie Huynh) has been ordered to carry out 120 hours of community service over the next 12 months.

The fine and community service order were imposed for failing to comply with the Property Agents and Motor Dealers Act 2000.

The maximum penalty for breaching the act is $54,000 or five years’ imprisonment for an individual and $220,000 for a corporation.

Huynh and Julies Realty each pleaded guilty to 18 charges related to unauthorised withdrawals from the agency’s trust account.

The court heard Huynh made 18 unauthorised transfers totalling $144,000 from the agency’s trust account to its general business account between July 22, 2011 and January 27, 2012.

Huynh told Office of Fair Trading officers she had used the money to pay business costs such as staff wages and rent.

The court took into account that Huynh had co-operated with the OFT and repaid all monies to the trust account.

No convictions were recorded.

Larry Schlesinger

Larry Schlesinger

Larry Schlesinger was a property writer at Property Observer

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