A Melbourne woman is accused of passing herself off as a conveyancer to transfer property into her own name and reap millions of dollars.
Marina Loprese, 56, is charged with 159 offences dating between 2015 and last August, including allegations she stole the title to a $2 million Black Rock property and made and used false documents to transfer it into her own name.
The Derrimut woman, whose case came before Melbourne Magistrates Court on Monday, is further accused of making false documents including bank statements and lease agreements to obtain false mortgages.
Court documents reveal in one case a $220,000 mortgage was granted by AET Corporate Trust and another for $268,000 from Advantage Financial Services, based on the false documents.
It’s alleged that she also attempted to deceptively obtain a $1.8 million property in Windsor.
Between March 2016 and May last year Loprese dishonestly obtained $1.526 million by deception, police say.
It’s alleged she falsely lodged exemptions with Victoria’s State Revenue Office in the name of multiple conveyancing clients, allowing her to keep money paid to her by clients who intended the funds to cover the stamp duty on land transfers.
Loprese allegedly passed off her bank details as those of the State Revenue Office to pull off the ruse against dozens of unwitting customers.
Individual charges set out amounts mostly between $20,000 and $40,000 but in two cases it’s alleged the payments Loprese kept were in excess of $100,000.
Loprese’s business allegedly operated between August 2015 and August last year and she’s also accused of representing herself as a conveyancer and carrying on a conveyancing business without being licensed under the Conveyancers Act.
According to court documents the alleged offending also put Loprese in breach of parole conditions between August 2015 and November 2017.
The consumer watchdog issued a public warning about Loprese, who also uses the names Marina Dawson and Marina Dankovic, and has operated under the name Marina’s Conveyancing.
Consumer Affairs Victoria director Claire Noone said conveyancers are in a position of trust with clients, and urged consumers to confirm their conveyancer is properly licensed.
Loprese is due to return to court at a later date.