PHOTO: Joseph Ngo and Judy Nguyen in their LJ Hooker days.Source: Supplied

A former Melbourne real estate agent-turned-preacher has been jailed for stealing clients’ deposits as part of a scam with her husband.

Dodgy realtor Truc Thanh Nguyen, also known as Judy Nguyen, pleaded guilty to misusing more than $800,000 of clients’ money.

The 44-year-old ex-LJ Hooker franchisee admitted moving deposit money from a trust account in early 2016, telling vendors there were accounting issues.

“This was a serious failure in trust,” County Court Judge Michael Bourke said while handing down the sentence today.

“These are not just financial transactions for many people.”

When money became available it was moved back into the trust account as part of the “ponzi-style scheme” operated with her husband, the judge said.

Nguyen’s business partner and husband, Joseph Ngo, started the scam in 2015 and was jailed for three years for stealing more than $2.3 million from victims.

Ngo used the cash to support his heavy drug habit, estimating he spent $300,000 on ice alone.

He also splurged on clothes and jewellery.

“This scheme had some sophistication, was dishonest behaviour and ultimately the aim was your benefit,” Judge Bourke told Nguyen.