Eye-watering land deal ended in tears
THE DEAL he hoped would help with his retirement ended up being a load of garbage, Will Van Zetten has told a court.
On Thursday, Mr Van Zetten said he was motivated to sell Yalanga Station after believing the buyer, Nexis Holdings PLC, was a promising company already in operation.
Rahoul Ray and Erwin Walter Filler pleaded not guilty this week to all seven fraud charges they jointly faced over the Sunshine Coast property sale.
Prosecutors alleged the deal was a fiasco based on made-up share prices in Nexis, which was said to turn garbage and waste products into construction panels.
Mr Van Zetten told Brisbane District Court the information Nexis provided seemed to paint a glowing picture of the company's prospects.
But Mr Filler's defence counsel Greg McGuire said Mr Van Zetten was not duped.
"You knew this was a research and development company that had an enormous amount of work to do before they could get to production," he told Mr Van Zetten.
"Where was their operational plant?" Mr McGuire asked.
"I assumed it was China," the former Yalanga owner replied
"Were you told it was China?"
"This literature suggests that was the most likely place," Mr Van Zetten added.
Jurors were shown documents in which Nexis purportedly described itself as a UK company with operational headquarters in Hong Kong and "negotiations underway to establish multiple plants in India".
The defence barrister, asking about land sale negotiations, suggested Mr Van Zetten told Mr Filler he was offered as much as $60 million for Yalanga.
"That's ridiculous," Mr Van Zetten replied. "I told him $25 million was the price."
The Crown alleged Mr Van Zetten only sold Yalanga and paid more than $1.2 million in stamp duty because he was dishonestly induced.
The trial continues. -NewsRegional