Disciplinary action against real estate agent following scam

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Consumer Protection has begun disciplinary action against a Mirrabooka real estate agent following the fraudulent sale of a Ballajura home last year.

The Department has lodged an application with the State Administrative Tribunal to hear the case against Samykannu Pty Ltd, trading as L.J. Hooker Mirrabooka, and licensee Mr John Samykannu for alleged breaches of the real estate agents’ Code of Conduct.

The legal action follows an investigation by the Property Industries branch of Consumer Protection into the circumstances surrounding the sale of the home in April last year without the real owners’ knowledge or consent.

The owners discovered they had become victims of identity fraud perpetrated by scammers in Nigeria when they returned to Perth to inspect the property in August. The proceeds from the sale, almost $400,000, had been sent to a bank account in China.

The Commissioner for Consumer Protection will allege that the agency L.J. Hooker Mirrabooka and agent Mr John Samykannu did not exercise due skill, care and diligence by failing to properly verify the identities of the vendors.

It is further alleged that the agent failed to act in the best interests of his clients and failed to act in accordance with their instructions by not contacting them via the details listed on the ‘authority to act as managing agent’ agreement for their property.

A date for the hearing against the real estate agent has yet to be set. 

The Codes of Conduct for real estate agents, sales representatives and settlement agents were strengthened in October last year and clear guidelines issued to all agents to ensure more stringent identity checks were carried out to avoid fraud attempts being successful in the future.

 

END OF RELEASE

 

(Consumer Protection is a division of the Department of Commerce)

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Media Contact:

Alan Hynd  9282 0961 or 0429-078791  alan.hynd@commerce.wa.gov.au

Consumer Protection
Media release
25 May 2012

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