Rogue deluxe estate agent Paul Pfeffer avoids jail but damages profession

Rogue deluxe estate agent Paul Pfeffer avoids jail but damages profession
Rogue deluxe estate agent Paul Pfeffer avoids jail but damages profession

The County Court of Victoria judge Paul Higham, in sentencing estate agent Paul Pfeiffer to a two-year community corrections order on Friday, said the integrity of the entire real estate profession was “damaged by any rogue practitioner such as yourself”.

The Melbourne real estate agent who misappropriated client money avoided jail.

Paul Pfeiffer, 46, the sole director of Melbourne Deluxe Real Estate, withdrew client money and used it for the company’s purposes between April and June, 2016.

He and his company pleaded guilty to eight counts of fraudulent conversion and one count of fraudulently rendering an account.

The County Court of Victoria was told on Friday that Pfeiffer withdrew money - client deposits on home purchases - from the company’s trust account.

He then used the funds for his business and personal expenditure without 
permission.

“The consequential shortfalls were made up from new deposits paid into the trust account. In essence ... you robbed Peter to pay Paul,” Judge Paul Higham said.

Then in July 2016, Pfeiffer told a “stream of untruths and misrepresentations” to the vendor of one of the houses he was selling in “an attempt to hold off the 
inevitable day of discovery”.

The vendor then lodged a complaint with Consumer Affairs Victoria, who found deficiencies in his company’s trust account.

A shortfall of more than $69,000 still remains.

Judge Higham noted Pfeiffer had been a talented real estate agent but that “did not translate into a talent for managing a business”.

He said although Pfeiffer had netted more than $200,000 per annum in the two years before the offending, he had the pressure of maintaining an expensive 
lifestyle.

“The victims of your offending are not only the vendors, whose deposits you dishonestly applied to your own purposes, but also your entire former profession, whose integrity is damaged by any rogue practitioner such as yourself.”

 

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor is one of Australia's most respected property journalists, having been at the top of the game since the early 1980s. Jonathan co-founded the property industry website Property Observer and has written for national and international publications.

Tags: 
Victoria Court Proceedings

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