HIGH FLYER GROUNDED

For­mer real es­tate agent Ni­co­lette van Wi­jn­gaar­den has had her wings clipped

The Northern Star - - FRONT PAGE - HAMISH BROOME hamish.broome@north­ern­star.com.au

THE for­mer direc­tor of a failed By­ron Bay-based lux­ury real es­tate agency has been or­dered to sur­ren­der her two pass­ports un­der strict bail con­di­tions over five counts of fraud.

In Septem­ber, NSW Fair Trad­ing launched crim­i­nal ac­tion against for­mer Unique Es­tates direc­tor Ni­co­lette van Wi­jn­gaar­den over the al­leged mis­use of more than $3.5 mil­lion.

Ms van Wi­jn­gaar­den, 44, faces 10 counts of dis­hon­estly ob­tain fi­nan­cial ad­van­tage by de­cep­tion, and a re­lated five counts of direc­tors’ li­a­bil­ity by of­fences of cor­po­ra­tion.

Unique Es­tates spec­tac­u­larly col­lapsed overnight in Fe­bru­ary with recorded li­a­bil­i­ties of more than $1.5 mil­lion, in­clud­ing $933,000 owed to the Aus­tralian Tax Of­fice.

Dutch-born van Wi­jn­gaar­den was the founder and sole direc­tor of the once high-fly­ing com­pany, which op­er­ated from six lo­ca­tions in­clud­ing Syd­ney, Mel­bourne and By­ron Bay, and spe­cialised in the mar­ket­ing of multi-mil­lion dol­lar tro­phy prop­er­ties.

Un­der strict bail con­di­tions she has now been or­dered to sur­ren­der her Aus­tralian and Nether­lands pass­ports.

Now liv­ing at El­wood in Mel­bourne, she has also been or­dered to re­port once a week to St Kilda po­lice sta­tion.

A brief of ev­i­dence in the mat­ter was due on Fri­day, No­vem­ber 2.

Ms van Wi­jn­gaar­den was ex­cused from ap­pear­ing in court when the mat­ter came up for men­tion in Syd­ney Down­ing Cen­tre.

The mat­ter was ad­journed for charge cer­ti­fi­ca­tion on Jan­uary 31 to re­turn to the Syd­ney Down­ing Cen­tre Lo­cal Court.

Ms van Wi­jn­gaar­den is also ex­cused from ap­pear­ing on that date.

Photo: Cathy Adams

STRICT CON­DI­TIONS: The for­mer direc­tor of Unique Es­tates, Ni­co­lette van Wi­jn­gaar­den, has been or­dered to sur­ren­der her pass­ports.

Photo: Cathy Adams

RIGHT: The com­pany direc­tor of Unique Es­tates, Ni­co­lette van Wi­jn­gaar­den, at one of the prop­er­ties she was sell­ing, Cedar Springs at Pos­sum Creek.

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