Richard Bingham in real estate fraud case

JINDERA man Richard Murray Bingham was yesterday put on a 12-month intensive corrections order over fraud offences relating to the sale of a block of land and an investment agreement.

Bingham, who became a licensed real estate agent in 2004, had previously pleaded guilty to charges of obtaining more than $15,000 by deception and two counts of knowingly produce a false or misleading document.

But he pleaded not guilty to a charge of obtaining a financial advantage by deception and a hearing was held in October.

He was found guilty by magistrate Megan Greenwood, who deferred the matter until yesterday for the preparation of a Probation and Parole pre-sentence report.

A couple paid Bingham $30,000 in December 2010 through an investment agreement on a property at Jindera.

They were to receive three interest instalments at the end of each year over a three-year period, with the total amount to be repaid at the end of the third year.

The money was paid to a company which was deregistered and Bingham was the sole signatory to that account.

Bingham, of Pioneer Drive, later admitted when interviewed by police he used the money for personal matters and it was never invested.

The property was sold to someone else three months before the investment agreement was made.

Some of the money went towards a civil judgment amounting to $41,955.98 made against Bingham.

The victim of the other matter met Bingham back in the mid-1990s and paid him a total of $80,000.

After becoming a real estate agent, Bingham sent a letter saying he was looking for an investment property.

The victim subsequently paid three amounts of money to Bingham with the initial payment being $2000.

That was followed by a payment of $6000 and then $72,000.

Bingham claimed a block of land had been bought at Jindera, but it was never purchased by him.

The victim made enquiries about the ownership of the block and discovered it belonged to someone else.

The fraud was reported to police in July, 2010, and investigated by detectives.

Ms Greenwood has ordered Bingham to pay $63,708.34 compensation.

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