Australian Run Property Manager to Serve 15 Months in Prison for Maintenance Fraud
When you are undertaking repairs to your rental property are you certain that the works are being completed satisfactorily on your behalf. You might be wise to seek some proof from your property manager if you are in doubt about the work or uncomfortable with the financial deductions from your rental statements.
A former property manager from the Run Property Group in Melbourne has been found guilty of jailed after stealing $580,000 through a web of fake invoices and contractors.
Between 2005 and 2011, Leigh Aizen fabricated more than 400 fake maintenance work invoices through the Run Property agency where he was employed mostly for uncompleted maintenance on behalf of property investors and home owners of rental property under his care. At times, no work was ever undertaken.
Such was the sophistication of his underground operation, Mr Aizen created false maintenance companies and paid himself by sending the payments through a web of international banks and offshore accounts.
The court heard that the “elaborate” and “sophisticated” scheme was set up due to pressure from Mr Aizen’s then-partner to maintain her extravagant lifestyle. But the breach of trust of his employers and clients led County Court judge Gabriele Cannon to sentence Mr Aizen to a minimum of 15 months’ prison.
“At the end of the day it was your decision to remain in the relationship with your [then] partner and commit the offences which I now sentence you,” the judge said. “This was no spur of the moment offending … but a lengthy course of conduct which you continued until you were discovered,” Judge Cannon said.
The property manager has also since repaid $450,000 of the $580,000, and intends to pay back the remaining balance – Thankfully for the victims of this unsavory breach of trust!
When you are authorizing substantial maintenance works and repairs on your rental property be sure to sight proper quotation documents and supportive photographic evidence of the subject repairs before you instruct your property manager to proceed with the works. If you are being asked to spend considerable amounts of money then you are wise to seek a second quotation from another contractor. I also recommend that if you are in a position to talk with the contractors directly before approving quotes inn order to satisfy yourself that the work is necessary and that all repair options have been taken into consideration.
When the works are complete your property manager should confirm same with you and confirm the payment amounts that are due to the contractor. You should ensure that your property manager has personally inspected the works on your behalf and can send you some photographs of their inspection. For substantial and costly repairs you should seek to inspect the work yourself if you are able.
Article Modified by Chris Snell, Property Manager, Australia,
Article sourced by Written by Steven Cross Friday, 06 June 2014