White Collar Crime and Property Agents: A Selection of Convictions Involving Trust Accounting Fraud

Pacific Rim Real Estate Society (PRRES)
Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
Proceedings from the PRRES Conference - 2013, 2013, pp. 1 - 11
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Property agents in New South Wales are entrusted with the responsibility of monitoring and accounting for all trust money held on behalf of their principle, for example the landlord and vendor. This procedure includes, but is not limited to the receipting and banking of trust funds, correct allocation of the money into the ledger accounts, and the appropriate accounting of trust funds to their principle. During the last decade, there has been a steady increase in fraud with agency's trust accounts. These identified trust account deficiencies and actions of dishonesty have been disguised by licensees and their employees using various methods of application. Literature suggests white collar crime is 'those illegal activities that occur in connection with a persons job or work' (Sutherland 1939). The purpose of this research paper is to examine a selection of court cases which relate to trust accounting fraud. The aim of this research was to identify any trends as to why the crime was committed. An Occupational Corruption Equation was developed and mapped against the court cases to determine a relationship with any trends which led to the misappropriation of those trust funds. The research concluded that the ready availability of trust funds provided a temptation for the offenders, who displayed little regard for the laws and ethics of their behaviour.
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