Life ban for estate agent



FORMER Alstonville real estate agent, James Derek Latta, has been permanently disqualified from involvement in the NSW real estate industry for dummy bidding and trust account deficiencies.

He is the second agent to be banned for dummy bidding offences after Illawarra agent Frank Conti was banned for five years in April last year.

NSW Fair Trading Minister John Hatzistergos said an investigation by his department had found that Mr Latta, formerly trading as The Professionals Real Estate, Alstonville, had made dummy bids at auctions and had illegally drawn funds from trust accounts on 38 occasions resulting in a deficiency of $182,352.

"There are no excuses for his unprofessional and deceitful behaviour and he is paying for it with a life ban," Mr Hatzistergos said.

"He admitted to Fair Trading investigators that he had used the funds from the trust accounts for the running of his business and for payment of living expenses. We will take the strongest action against those who show blatant disregard for the law."



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