REAL ESTATE | Liverpool agent convicted of trust-account fraud

Generic images. Pictures: Google Street View (left), 3D Animation Production Co/Pixabay (right)
Generic images. Pictures: Google Street View (left), 3D Animation Production Co/Pixabay (right)

A Liverpool real estate agent has been prosecuted after NSW Fair Trading found he fraudulently transferred trust money into his own personal account.

On November 22 last year, GeorgeMarando, director of G & A Marando trading as Marando Real Estate NSW, pleaded guilty in Parramatta court to an offence under the Property, Stock and Business Agents Act 2002 (NSW).

On May 8 this year, Marando was sentenced to 12 months' jail to be served by way of an intensive correction order and was also ordered to perform 200 hours of community service.

Fair Trading Commissioner RoseWebb said Fair Trading began investigating the agency following a compliance operation in 2015.

"The investigation particularly concerned the sale of a property at Granville on July 5, 2015, where the agency acted as the selling agent for the vendors," Ms Webb said.

The court heard Marando transferred $41,400 of the $59,100 deposit into his personal bank account in multiple transactions between July 30, 2015 and September 26 that year.

"After transferring the money into his personal account, he either transferred the money to another account or withdrew it in cash.

"As a result of his conduct, Mr Marando failed to pay the vendors the full amount they were owed until Fair Trading investigators intervened in June 2016."

Marando's real-estate licence and the corporation licence of the agency have been cancelled.

"Mr Marando had no authority to withdraw money from the company trust account.

"Fair Trading will continue to proactively ensure real-estate agents uphold their legal responsibilities."

Marando has the right to lodge an appeal.