Former LJ Hooker agent to admit trust account fraud, court hears

Former LJ Hooker agent to admit trust account fraud, court hears
Former LJ Hooker agent to admit trust account fraud, court hears

A former LJ Hooker real estate agent charged with diverting and using millions of dollars of clients' money held in trust accounts plans to plead guilty, but his wife will contest the accusations. 

Tri Duc (Jospeh) Ngo , a former Glen Waverley real estate agent, and his wife Truc Thanh Le (Judy) Nguyen are accused of dozens of electronic transfers from rental and sales trust accounts into a company JNT Law Investments for its own use. 

The couple appeared in court earlier this week for a committal mention.

The couple’s lawyer, Erol Cinar, told the Melbourne Magistrates Court that Ngo was the only one with access to the trust account and he was the one who conducted the offending, Fairfax Media reported.

Truc Thanh Le (Judy) Nguyen would plead not guilty to all charges, Cinar said.

JNT operated businesses including LJ Hooker branches in Keysborough, Mount Waverley, Glen Waverley, Burwood, Doncaster and Box Hill.

Ngo faced 188 charges, with an extra 114 new charges recently added by prosecuting agency, Consumer Affairs Victoria.

His wife was originally charged with 216 breaches of the Estate Agents Act, and has had 113 added, after approval from the Office of Public Prosecutions.

The offences involve taking tens of thousands of dollars at a time from trust accounts, where money is held by agents on behalf of clients.

Lump sums ranging from $500 to $700,000 were allegedly taken from the trust accounts during 2015 & 2016. 

Consumer Affairs has approved 59 property fund claims to JNT clients, exceeding $2 million.

A total of $34,565 has been paid to 21 claimants owed money from the agents’ rental trust account.

The case will return to court on May 19 for further committal mention.

Tags: 
Lj Hooker Prosecution

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