Maureen Joy van Zetten (left) told a Brisbane District Court jury that the drawn-out sale of her former property Yalanga was stressful. She was giving evidence during a fraud trial related to the historic property's sale.
Maureen Joy van Zetten (left) told a Brisbane District Court jury that the drawn-out sale of her former property Yalanga was stressful. She was giving evidence during a fraud trial related to the historic property's sale. Geoff Potter

Owner tells of shock that sale proceeds are useless

A SUNSHINE Coast retiree has described the moment she and her husband realised the millions of shares they were given as partial payment for Yalanga Station were useless.

Former schoolteacher Maureen van Zetten, 69, spent about four hours on Monday and Tuesday giving evidence in the Brisbane District Court fraud trial of Rahoul Ray and Erwin Walter Filler.

The businessmen are accused of duping Ms van Zetten and her husband Wilhelmus into trading the iconic Noosa hinterland cropping and grazing property for "worthless" shares in their company Nexis Holdings.

Nexis was de-listed after it floated on the Frankfurt stock exchange.

The Crown alleges Mr Filler and Mr Ray also tricked the van Zettens into making payments of $900,000 to the Commonwealth Bank and more than $1 million in stamp duty in relation to the sale of Yalanga in late 2011.

The court heard Mr Filler told the van Zettens that Nexis's main business was mass-producing cheap housing from recycled waste products and that his company planned to produce 300,000 of these homes in China and about 80,000 in Brazil.

Ms van Zetten said she supported her husband's decision to sell the property, but that she only found out the buyer was offering a combination of cash and shares when she attended a meeting with Mr Filler, real estate agent Mark Boulter and her husband at a Burpengary service station in 2010.

"Mr Filler did most of the talking, about himself, his company, he really promoted it," Ms van Zetten said of that meeting.

"He talked about what they produced, about the shares and that they were going to go up in value quite dramatically.

"That was the first time I knew about the shares component of it (the sale)."

Ms van Zetten said she and her husband investigated the company by "googling, (looking at) websites, (talking to) people who may have known of them (Nexis), just general research."

"They looked good in the brochures, they looked good on the website," she said.

"And we were reassured by (real estate agent) Mark Boulter."

Ms van Zetten said the sale was finalised in December of 2010 with the couple being told they had to hold onto their new Nexis shares until March, 2011, when they would be free to sell the stock.

"We were watching the shares ... and we did become alarmed that the shares seemed to have stopped trading ... and that was when we tried to desperately get a hold of both Filler and Ray and we got no response," Ms van Zetten said.

"We could not raise them (Mr Filler and Mr Ray) by email, telephone, nothing."

When the van Zettens eventually contacted Mr Ray, he: "Made a lot of excuses about why the shares were not trading at that point."

"I got to the point of being sick of it (the sale)," she said.

"It was a roller-coaster for 12 months."

Mr Boulter told the court on Tuesday that he encouraged the van Zettens to accept the offer for the property because another prominent Sunshine Coast owner had struck a similar cash and share deal with Nexis.

He said as the sale neared its final stages, Mr Filler was pressuring the van Zettens to pay more costs relating to the handover, including the stamp duty.

"He (Mr Filler) was: 'I pay nothing, everyone else pays the money'," Mr Boulter said.

"Before they'd go forward on the deal Filler kept asking them to pay more and more and more."

The trial before Judge Julie Dick continues. - APN NEWSDESK


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