Fraud investigation in rural Victoria real estate commission dispute

Fraud investigation in rural Victoria real estate commission dispute
Fraud investigation in rural Victoria real estate commission dispute

Victorian police are investigating a former estate agent Tim McCurdy who is a shadow cabinet member in Victoria.

It was for alleged 2009 fraud as a result of complaints that he wrongly claimed hundreds of thousands of dollars in sales commissions while working as a real estate agent.

McCurdy, 54, lower house MP for Ovens Valley, is alleged to have falsified documents to secure sales commissions worth about $375,000 while working as a real estate agent in 2009.

The Nationals MP is accused of forging the letterhead of another Cobram real estate agent to earn commissions from the sale of two northern Victorian farms to a Chinese buyer in 2009.

Police questioned Mr McCurdy and searched his Cobram home and office in May as part of the investigation, the Herald Sun reported.

“Police executed two warrants in Cobram on 30 May,” a Victoria Police spokeswoman said.

“The warrants relate to an investigation into an alleged fraud from 2009. A 54-year-old Cobram man was also interviewed and was released pending further inquiries.”

The allegations centre on the sale of a 581-hectare dairy farm in Boosey, known as Malmo, for $7.8 million with a $245,850 commission in July 2009 to Xing Long International.

The other farm in Katamatite, called Pinegrove, sold for $3.9 million with a $129,891 commission in December 2009 to the same buyer.

In 2014, the company that initially brokered the property deals lodged a County Court writ accusing Mr McCurdy of engaging in “misleading and deceptive” conduct in breach of the Fair Trading Act.

Mr McCurdy worked for PGG Wrightson between June 2008 and February 2009, when real estate agent Andrew Gilmour bought the Cobram branch of the business.

Mr McCurdy said he reached a confidential legal agreement with his former employer after mediation in 2014.

“As far as I was concerned, the matter was finalised,” he said.

“Police contacted me around two months ago to say they had been told they needed to make further routine inquiries.

"Two officers visited my office and home that day, but took nothing. I have not heard anything further since.”

McCurdy became an MP in 2010 and is the shadow minister for veterans, sport and gaming and liquor regulation.

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