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Real Estate Agent Jailed Over Fraud

Real Estate Agent Jailed Over Fraud

August 30, 2016

James Robert Lyons, 38, stole the money over a two-year period between 2011 and 2013 while working as a commercial real estate agent.

He diverted investor’s money that should have been paid into a trust fund into his own account.

Lyons pleaded guilty to two charges of fraud and one of attempted fraud.

Brisbane’s District Court was told Lyons used the money for his own benefit to feed a gambling problem.

The court heard Lyons had only recently started seeking help after being diagnosed with a gambling addiction and bipolar disorder.

Judge Brad Farr said Lyons had “told lies and falsehoods”.

“The money that you misappropriated was spent on gambling and horse racing,” he said.

“You have not repaid any of your ill-gotten gains.”

The judge took Lyons’ mental health into account when sentencing him, handing him six years in prison, with a possibility of parole after two years.

Outside court, one of Lyons’ victims Stephen Graham described him as a “scumbag”.

Mr Graham invested $275,000 as part of a retirement plan and said he did not expect to get the money back.

“We’re out of pocket a massive amount of money and it’s going to affect us — we’re older — so it’s affecting us badly,” Mr Graham said.

“He’s very smooth — he spoke well, but he got the better of us — we thought if we put money into a trust account it should be safe.”

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