Brisbane real estate agent jailed for fraud
- A Brisbane real estate agent has been jailed for eight years following an investigation by the Office of Fair Trading and the Queensland Police.
- Queensland real estate agents are reminded that trust money does not belong to them and they can’t access it for business or personal expenses
Newmarket real estate agent Graham John Patterson was sentenced to three years imprisonment in the Brisbane Supreme Court (13 June 2023) after pleading guilty to one count of fraud. Mr Patterson also received separate concurrent sentences of four and five years for other Queensland Police matters.
Mr Patterson was previously the co-director and shareholder of Warragrove Pty Ltd which traded as Leo & Co Property Management until September 2018 when he resigned as director but continued to be employed as the licensee in charge.
The court heard that between December 2018 and May 2019, Mr Patterson wrote 56 cheques from the trust account with a combined value of $58,377. These were deposited into six separate bank accounts across three different banking institutions of which he was the sole signatory.
The director of Warragrove did not give the defendant permission or authority to use or take the money. The director of Warragrove also reimbursed the full amount to the trust account.
The Trust Accounts Guide, produced by OFT, provides agents with information about their trust account obligations.
If you believe an agent has been mishandling trust money you can lodge a complaint with the OFT online on its website or call 13 QGOV (13 74 68).
Quotes attributable to the Fair Trading Commissioner Victoria Thomson:
“Matters of fraud are serious and the Office of Fair Trading will investigate and take action against those who mishandle trust money,” Ms Thomson said.
“Trust money does not belong to agents. It can’t be borrowed or used for any purpose outside of its authorised use.”
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All other enquiries: 13 QGOV (13 74 68)
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