A 65-yr-old Logan Village agent who directed a $16.8k deposit to her personal bank account has been permanently disqualified from holding any real estate position notwithstanding an “unblemished history” and the fact that no financial loss resulted.
In March 2011 Cherrie Hooler signed up a $459k house contract for seller Gwynne Parry – with whom she and agent husband Wilhelm conducted business over 20 years – requiring payment of a 20% deposit in 14 days.
The following month she assisted Parry issue a receipt for the deposit to the buyer although it had not been paid.
That done, she requested buyer Henry Burke transfer $16.8k to an account which turned out to be her own cheque account. This she claimed was not in fact a deposit but “was funds that could act as a deposit when needed”.
In disciplinary proceedings concerning the affair Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) member Bernadette Rogers noted it was “of concern that Ms Hooler formed the view that by describing the funds in some way other than as a deposit, she could circumvent” compliance rules.
As for the receipted-but-unpaid $91.8k, “as an agent with a long history in industry, she would have known the purposes to which the receipt could be put”.
And continuing to deal with the seller “when it was clear he was unwell and under the influence of” morphine, was clearly unprofessional.
Despite her plea that she at least be permitted a salesperson’s certificate – to have some chance of helping her ill husband in the Century Next agency – judge Rogers was persuaded by the “demonstrated willingness to sidestep or ignore” regulations, that she should be absolutely disqualified.
She was also ordered to pay $1.5k by way of fine and $1k in legal costs.