Gambling LJ Hooker Surry Hills estate agent Patrick Scott jailed for agency trust fund laundering

The former Surry Hills agent Patrick Scott has been jailed for siphoning $813,936 from his estate agency company trust account, the NSW Fair Trading has reported.

The former LJ Hooker director was the sole signatory of the account which was used for betting up to $77,000 a day from his Sportingbet account.

His total losses over two years amounted to $518,788.

Patrick Scott confessed to investigators in late 2011, telling them he had a gambling problem, before handing over his real estate licence.

News broke in November 2011, with initial reports of trust account irregularities of between $500,000 and $1 million, and a reliance on commissions being paid in advance to aid the office cash flow. 

He was sentenced in Parramatta Local Court last Wednesday to 16 months' jail. There was a non-parole period of one year.

Fair Trading commissioner Rod Stowe said the sentence was fair noting the amount of money involved.

"Consumers have the right to have their investments being held in trust by agents kept safe," Mr Stowe told AAP.

"Mr Scott abused this position of trust, by dipping into trust accounts containing hundreds of thousands of dollars belonging to his clients."

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor is one of Australia's most respected property journalists, having been at the top of the game since the early 1980s. Jonathan co-founded the property industry website Property Observer and has written for national and international publications.

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