Lionheart Brisbane real estate agent no longer trusted with trust money

Lionheart Brisbane real estate agent no longer trusted with trust money
Lionheart Brisbane real estate agent no longer trusted with trust money

A Brisbane real estate agent was sentenced to 12 months’ imprisonment, suspended for 18 months in the Brisbane Magistrates Court, following an Office of Fair Trading (OFT) investigation.

Satvinder Singh Dhillon, sole director and principal agent of Lionheart Realty, was found guilty of wrongful conversion of trust money.

Mr Dhillon was also disqualified from holding a real estate licence for five years.

The court heard tenants paid rent and bonds to Lionheart Realty in mid-2016, but rather than paying property owners the rent money owing to them and passing the bond money on to the Residential Tenancies Authority (RTA), Mr Dhillon transferred the trust money, a total of $13,142, to his personal account.

The OFT’s investigation also revealed Mr Dhillon’s real estate licence expired on 10 May 2016, but he continued to work illegally as a real estate agent, operating Lionheart Realty.

In sentencing, the magistrate stressed the seriousness of the offences and the betrayal of trust that such breaches cause.

Fair Trading Executive Director Brian Bauer emphasised trust money did not belong to real estate agents and must never be treated as personal money.

“Tenants and property owners expect their real estate agents will manage trust accounts appropriately,” Mr Bauer said.

“Bond money does not belong to a real estate agent, and must be transferred to the RTA correctly.

“The OFT will continue to investigate allegations of real estate agents who misappropriate trust money and take action against those who do.”

Anyone who believes a real estate agent may have misappropriated trust money or is acting as an agent without the appropriate licence is encouraged to lodge a complaint to the OFT here.

Tags: 
Brisbane Real Estate Agents

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