Real estate agent turned church preacher cries as she is jailed

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A former real estate agent boss has sobbed in court after being told she will spend at least eight months behind bars for stealing more than $809,000 in house deposits.

Former LJ Hooker agent turned church preacher Truc Thanh Nguyen, also known as Judy, 44, pleaded guilty to misappropriating $809,016 in deposits from 11 Melbourne properties last month.  

The mother of four was sentenced to 20 months jail with a non-parole period of eight months on Tuesday and cried on the dock as she was led away. 

County Court Judge Michael Bourke said the sentence would have been increased to three years if she hadn’t pleaded guilty. 

‘This was a serious failure in trust,’ he said while handing down the sentence.

‘The behaviour was dishonest and she benefited from the crime.

‘These are not just financial transactions for many people.’

She was also fined $1500 while failing to comply with her business duties.

The deposits related to 11 home sales in 2016 while Nyugen was the head of six LJ Hooker franchises across Melbourne.

She was franchisee of LJ Hooker Glen Waverley and associated branches in Keysborough, Box Hill, Mount Waverley, Doncaster and Burwood, which were all shut down as part of a Consumer Affairs Victoria investigation in 2016.

She told the court last month she’s now studying online for a bachelor of theology, domain.com.au reported.

Nguyen’s husband Tri Duc Ngo, also known as Joseph Ngo, 38, is also currently behind bars after he pleaded guilty to misusing $6.49 million from trust accounts in 2015-16.

The drug addict pleaded guilty to 48 charges after spending $2 million of the misused funds to pay for his lavish lifestyle, including clothing, jewellery and drugs such as ice. 

Ngo expressed ‘genuine remorse’ for his crimes when he was sentenced last year.

He was jailed for five years and ordered to pay $2.1 million to cover costs paid to victims.

 

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