Word is bond – property agent caught misusing consumer money
1 December 2017
A former Crestmead real estate salesperson has been ordered to pay $2,000 by the Beenleigh Magistrates Court today (1 December 2017) for dishonestly using trust account money, following an Office of Fair Trading (OFT) investigation.
Dragan Bondzulic a real estate salesperson since 2006, surrendered his real estate salesperson’s registration certificate during the OFT investigation. A conviction was recorded.
The court heard, on 1 May 2017 Mr Bondzulic was the listing agent for a property for sale in Waterford West. When he prepared a contract for the sale of the property, he provided his personal bank details to the buyer instead of his agency’s trust account details.
The buyer deposited $5000 as a buyer’s deposit in Mr Bondzulic’s account the day after the sale of contract was signed. Mr Bondzulic then withdrew the money and spent the full amount over the next few days.
The Agents Financial Administration Act 2014 requires property agents to immediately bank all amounts received for transactions into the agency’s trust account. Amounts may only be withdrawn from the trust account when there is a written authorisation to do so.
Mr Bondzulic attempted to cover up the misappropriation by altering a number of tax receipts, before he confessed to his employer.
In sentencing, the magistrate noted Mr Bondzulic’s had surrendered his real estate licence and cooperated with the OFT, entered an early guilty plea, and repaid the money.
Fair Trading Executive Director Brian Bauer said property agents hold a position of trust and must fulfil their obligations, which includes safekeeping money held in trust.
"Trust money must never be used by agents for their personal use.”
Further information on the obligations of property agents is available from www.qld.gov.au/fairtrading or by calling 13 QGOV (13 74 68).