Victorian Nationals MP faces real estate fraud trial

A Victorian Nationals MP allegedly used false documents in relation to the sale of two dairy farms and pocketed more than $250,000 in commissions, a court has heard.

Tim McCurdy is facing trial in the County Court of Victoria charged with five fraud offences including using false documents and obtaining property by deception in 2009.

Mr McCurdy was elected to parliament the following year.

He is fighting the charges.

The allegations relate to two dairy farms near Cobram, one called Pinegrove Park at Katamatite and another owned by the Malmo family at Boosey.

The MP is charged with dishonestly obtaining a commission worth $163,900 in relation to the sale of Malmo family farm between February and December 2009.

The 68-year-old allegedly received $105,105 from the sale of the Pinegrove Park farm near Katamatite, which he is accused of attempting to obtain dishonestly between February and June 2009.

He was allegedly “falsely representing” he was a registered real estate agent or an employee of a licensed agent involved in the sale and was entitled to a commission, according to the indictment.

The Nationals MP is also facing three counts of using a false document in relation to the sales, which were on a letterhead from a realtor named Andrew Gilmour.

Mr Gilmour told the jury on Friday the Nationals MP had been involved in the attempted sale of the properties when they both worked at a New Zealand-owned company.

That company pulled out of Australia in February 2009 and Mr McCurdy had to explain what was happening with the sale of both properties, the real estate agent said.

“Timothy … told me both purchasers couldn’t obtain finances to proceed with the sale,” Mr Gilmour told jurors.

The realtor told the court he opened another agency and Mr McCurdy went to work for another company.

Later that year, McCurdy is alleged to have completed the sales using the letterheads of Mr Gilmour’s real estate agency without his knowledge or permission.

But vendors believed Mr McCurdy worked for a company known as “TTRM”.

One of the vendors, Elizabeth Malmo, told the court when she spoke to Mr McCurdy, he produced a brochure with the name of “TTRM” on it.

However, she told the court she was content with the price the family received for the farm and believed Mr McCurdy received an appropriate amount for his work.

Mr McCurdy became the member for Murray Valley in 2010 and then won Ovens Valley in the 2014 election.

The trial continues on Monday.

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