Crackdown on audit of trust accounts sees 20 real estate agents sanctioned
The NSW Fair Trading crackdown has targeted real estate agents who failed to file their 2019/20 trust account audits, resulting in disciplinary action against 20 real estate agents.
Each officer has been fined up to $ 11,000, while eight have had their licenses canceled, and nine others are currently excluded from directing, managing or conducting a licensee’s business. license until outstanding trust account audits are rendered.
The 20 agents held a combined total of $ 2.95 million in their trust accounts, and although no fraud allegations were made, the regulator notes that failure to file an audit is a stand-alone offense and a “Major red flag” for agents in hiding. Something.
“Trust account fraud is the number one offense that real estate agents are prosecuted for in New South Wales,” said Valerie Griswold, executive director of investigations for NSW Fair Trading.
“In the past, we’ve seen real estate agents use funds from gambling, alcohol and drug trust accounts, in some cases spending hundreds of thousands of dollars.
“Trust accounts are made up of funds that are 100% owned by consumers, so it is essential that the agents who manage them follow the rules. “
The Fair Trading Consumers, Buildings and Goods Unit undertook the Compliance Operation in conjunction with the Fair Trading Disciplinary Unit to remedy the audit failures.
According to the regulator, further action is still being considered against 35 additional real estate agents who belatedly returned their trust account audits.
The 20 agents disciplined by NSW Fair Trading include:
- Deakin Industrial Realty Pty Ltd in Sydney
- Future Austral Pty Ltd partners at Austral
- John Dunnachie Pty Ltd in Baulkham Hills
- Novus Investment Group Pty Ltd in Sydney
- Oceanwide Property Group Pty Ltd in Sydney
- Palomaohana Pty Ltd trading as James Estates real estate agents at Balmain
- The IBW Empire Pty Ltd in Rozelle
- The Success Property Group Pty Ltd in Burwood
- Amazing Grace Australia Pty Ltd in West Ryde
- Amazing T Investments Pty Ltd as Topland Property Pty Ltd in Castle Hill
- Australian Prime Realty Pty Ltd in Dover Heights
- Auston Grand Realty Group in Castlereagh
- Australian Executive Apartments Pty Ltd in Coogee
- CVG Home Inn Pty Ltd in Sydney
- Bondi Beach Rentals Pty Ltd at Bondi Beach
- Healy Enterprises Pty Limited at the entrance
- Computer Real Estate Agents Pty Ltd in Caringbah
- Keyring Real Estate Pty Ltd in Hurstville
- [email protected] Pty Ltd in Dooralong
- ANG (Aust) Pty Ltd in Minto
To date, only three of the real estate agents, Deakin Industrial Realty Pty Ltd, Novus Investment Group Pty Ltd and The IBW Empire Pty Ltd, have requested an internal review of their disciplinary decision.
Jotham Lian is the Editor-in-Chief of Accountants Daily, the leading source of news, analysis and information for Australian accountants.
Prior to joining the team in 2017, Jotham wrote for a range of national titles including the Sydney Morning Herald and Channel NewsAsia.