Michael Simmons, a former Gold Coast resident letting agent has been banned from the real estate industry for 10 years following an Office of Fair Trading (OFT) investigation.
Simmons was a licensed residential letting agent, collecting rent and holiday income for apartments in Burleigh Heads.
Michael Joseph Simmons was taken to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) by the OFT for misappropriating trust money.
He was fined $3,000 after the tribunal heard the investigation began when the OFT was notified Simmons’ trust account was overdrawn.
Shortly after, Mr Simmons abandoned his business and the OFT appointed a receiver over the business’s trust property.
The OFT established Mr Simmons withdrew trust account money he was not entitled to on 29 occasions.
The trust account became overdrawn on four occasions between May and October 2012.
In sentencing, the tribunal considered Mr Simmons lack of remorse, disregard for his obligations as a licensee, and his four previous opportunities to make an early guilty plea.
Fair Trading Executive Director Brian Bauer said behaviour such as Mr Simmons’s would not be tolerated in the real estate industry.
“Stealing from a trust account is an inexcusable act and represents a gross breach of the confidence placed in an agent” Mr Bauer said.
Author: STAFF REPORTER of Propertyobserver