Strata Agency Fraud Verdict

The co-founder of boutique strata company The Strata Agency who stole more than $1 million from the apartment and business owners whose buildings she looked after was sentenced to 15 months in prison on Tuesday (16 September 2014). Rachael Kwawegen was found guilty of misappropriating in excess of $1 million of trust fund monies. Investigators believed the fraud involved raising invoices for work that was never carried out.

Thankfully none of the apartment owners ended up losing money as they were compensated for the missing cash by a property fund operated by the NSW Department of Fair Trading. The statutory fund is made up of licence fees and interest on bonds so, therefore, has been contributed to by the industry.

David Ferguson, Managing Director of Strata Plus and the former president of Strata Community Australia, said the state government should have more controls in place to regulate new strata management companies and apartment-owners should be vigilant about employing strata managers with proven track records.

“The are new strata management companies popping up every day at the moment,” he said. “And there’s nothing to stop another The Strata Agency happening again. The money may have been safe but the disruption to people’s lives and chaos this caused was just terrible.”

September 2014


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