Gold Coast property manager busted siphoning trust money
8 October 2018
Gold Coast property manager Leslee Ann Hall was ordered to pay $1200 by the Southport Magistrates Court today (8 October 2018) for stealing from her employer’s trust account.
Ms Hall pleaded guilty to 21 counts of wrongfully converting trust monies and was fined $1200 and $96.15 in court costs.
The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) launched its investigation following a complaint by Ms Hall’s employer.
The court heard that between 28 September 2016 and 16 March 2018, Ms Hall made 21 unauthorised transactions totalling $2,493.66 from her employer’s trust account for her own use.
In her position as a senior property manager, she was able to identify unclaimed rental overpayments and she used those funds to pay invoices for maintenance and repairs on properties owned by her sons.
The court took into account her co-operation with the OFT and that she had since repaid the stolen money and the $6,415.51 in expenses incurred by her employer, who had the trust account forensically audited to uncover the extent of Ms Hall’s offending prior to approaching the OFT.
Fair Trading Executive Director Brian Bauer said stealing money held in trust, no matter how small the amount was, would not be tolerated by the OFT.
“Organisations are obliged to run a trust account in accordance with the law and if anyone suspects that is not occurring, they should not hesitate to contact the OFT,” Mr Bauer said.
“Trust account money is protected for a reason and the OFT won’t stand for it being misused.”
For more information on property agent obligations in Queensland, visit www.qld.gov.au/fairtrading.