PHOTO: David Sharma. FILE
According to the NZHERALD a property manager who pocketed $92,000 of tenant bond money and sank it into his own failed business has been fined and censured.
David Sharma was found guilty of disgraceful conduct by the Real Estate Agents Disciplinary Tribunal last year in relation to his failure to lodge 49 bond payments, totalling $92,210 from 2012 to 2018.
This week the tribunal ordered Sharma be censured, fined $15,000 and ordered to pay $17,000 in legal costs.
The tribunal said that the money he stole appears to have “disappeared” within his business which incurred significant debt.
“There is no place for a person like Mr Sharma in the profession,” the decision states.
“His wrongdoing was not an isolated incident in an otherwise exemplary career. It involved a substantial sum of money…It is to Mr Sharma’s credit that he has admitted his misconduct and apologised, though that only occurred at the very last moment at the hearing.”
The tribunal noted that Sharma is in poor health and resides in a rest home, however, he did not meaningfully engage in the hearing at all.
“When he did, he sought adjournments. His ultimate acceptance of the charge came at the end of the road. He had no defence to the charge,” the tribunal said.
Instead of engaging with the hearing process Sharma issued a two-line apology to the 49 tenants he’d stolen from.
“I apologise for not depositing your bond money with the Residential Tenancy tribunal. I am truly ashamed of that. I know that I have caused you a lot of stress and pain and I wish I could take that back,” the letter reads.
“I hope you will forgive me. I intended to pay the money back, but because of my financial situation, I was not able to do that.”
Sharma no longer holds a real estate agents licence but if he did the tribunal said it would have cancelled it.
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