Property manager guilty of $32k real estate fraud
A former property manager who embezzled more than $32,000 while working for a major real estate group has walked from court after a judge found it to be a rare case that did not warrant jail time.
Kirsten Louise Valery, 43, faced Brisbane District Court this morning where she pleaded guilty to one count of fraud as an employee between November 2013 and January 2019.
Valery was working at Ray White Lutwyche as a property manager associate when she began transferring funds from the company's trust account into two personal bank accounts, the court was told.
Prosecutor Jacqueline Malouf said that over five years, Valery made almost 80 transfers and avoided detection by creating false transaction descriptions.
Barrister Christopher Wilson said Valery left the company in 2019 and when her fraud was uncovered, she immediately apologised and repaid the money in full - as well as an additional $1000.
"This is a clear case of someone who is quite remorseful," Mr Wilson said.
The court heard she was a hard worker and dedicated mother who had no criminal history and had been going through a difficult time during her offending.
Judge John Coker said while the protracted nature of Valery's offending was serious, it was "one of those rare cases" where he could suspend the sentence.
"What is clear is that you appreciate the wrong you have exhibited and have shown real regret and a real determination to right that wrong," Judge Coker said.
Valery was sentenced to two and half years' jail, wholly suspended for three years.
Originally published as Property manager guilty of $32k real estate fraud