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Manolis Karapsitis, the former director of the Northern Territory estate agency, Your Real Estate NT, has pleaded guilty to thirty-five counts of theft after he was found to have stolen more than $57,000 from his clients to fund a lifestyle of drugs and gambling.
The Darwin Local Court heard that Mr Karapsitis had repeatedly withdrawn large amounts of money, ranging from $770 to $3060, from a special trust account in which clients’ rental bonds were kept.
Needless to say, Manolis was stripped of his estate agent’s license by The Agents Licensing Board during a disciplinary hearing in October of last year, with the board finding that Mr Karapsitis’ actions were “fundamentally inconsistent with the trust obligations of a real estate agent.” As such, the board went on to ban Manolis from working in the industry indefinitely.
Mr Karapsitis’ stealing was exposed by a number of suspicious clients who, together, approached the Department of Business to file a complaint.
Following the hearing, Mr Karapsitis has been sentenced to 12 months’ imprisonment, suspended after 2 months.
In light of Mr Karapsitis’ case, Judge Michael Carey compared his actions to those of fraudster travel agents, Tenille Foley and Xana Kamatsis, sentenced in May of this year and December of 2015 respectively. While Foley’s sentence was relatively mild in comparison; just three months’ home detention, Xana Kamatsis was jailed for three years and eleven months.
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