How a render was misleading
  • 25 Jun 2024
  • 2 min read
  • By the Office of Fair Trading

Unlicensed real estate agent takes trust money and falsifies records

OFT, Court case

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) took Amanda Corolle Jessica Finn (nee Forster) to court, after she operated without a licence, stole trust money, and falsified records.

On 21 June 2024, Finn appeared in the Brisbane Magistrates Court charged with being unlicensed, of dishonestly converting trust funds to her own use, and with eight counts of rendering false accounts.

Finn was convicted, fined $10,000 and ordered to pay over $18,000 in compensation. The court also permanently disqualified Ms Finn from holding a real estate licence.

The OFT told the court that between 25 November 2021 and 30 June 2023, Finn acted as a real estate agent without a licence.

The court heard that between 8 February 2023 and 7 March 2023, Finn falsified two receipts to show she had paid rent totalling $4,400 into the trust account, when in fact she instead dishonestly converted the money to her own personal use.

The court also heard that between 31 May 2022 and 29 December 2022, Finn generated eight trust account receipts pretending to show a tenant had paid rent totalling $15,925 when in fact they had not paid the amounts to the trust account.

While Finn lodged an early guilty plea, the court noted Finn's behaviour was a serious breach of both contractual obligations and trust and was a serious example of deliberate and dishonest conduct.

Commissioner for Fair Trading Victoria Thomson said the Office of Fair Trading took breaches of trust account requirements very seriously and welcomed the court’s decision to permanently disqualify Finn from holding a real estate agent’s licence.

“Trust money does not belong to real estate agents, and they must only deal with it as allowed by the law,” Commissioner Thomson said.

“This is a timely warning to real estate agents that they must ensure their operations and processes are compliant.”

Read another update from the REIQ: Stage 2 Rental Law Reforms commenced on 6 June 2024.

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