LJ Hooker fraud estate agent set for prison despite plea

LJ Hooker fraud estate agent set for prison despite plea
LJ Hooker fraud estate agent set for prison despite plea

A former real estate agent who misappropriated more than $6 million from clients to fund his lavish lifestyle has asked a Melbourne judge to spare him from prison.

But Tri Duc Ngo, also known as Joseph Ngo, who has pleaded guilty to misusing $6.49 million from trust account funds of 46 clients linked to six LJ Hooker offices in Melbourne, was advised he should serve some time in jail for his crime.

Ngo co-operated six LJ Hooke branches at Glen Waverley, Box Hill, Burwood, Doncaster, Keysborough and Mount Waverley.

County Court Judge Michael Bourke said Ngo, who was reported to suffer psychosis and a schizoaffective disorder, should serve some time in jail.

He spent some of the money on drugs such as ice.

The court heard at a plea hearing in November that Mr Ngo had splashed stolen cash at high-end jewellery stores including Swarovski and Tiffany & Co.

Six LJ Hooker offices in Melbourne's outer east were closed when Consumer Affairs Victoria was alerted.

Defence lawyer Erol Cinar said the father-of-four should be spared jail because his four-year-old had not yet made lasting memories of his father.

He also argued Ngo was active in his church community.

The court was advised the remorseful Ngo had no intention to return to real estate.

Judge Michael Bourke released Ngo on bail for one day to collect his medications, with plans to remand him in custody on Tuesday before sentencing at a later date.

The judge declared a lesser punishment would be “disproportionate.”

"The offending occurred over a protracted period between January 2015 and March 2016," crown prosecutor Robyn Harper.

"The offending occurred over a protracted period between January 2015 and March 2016," she said.

"The scale is massive ... (and) there's been no evidence he's repaid the money."

 

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Fraud Lj Hooker

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