No white knight for jailed Unique Estates founder Nicolette van Wijngaarden

No white knight for jailed Unique Estates founder Nicolette van Wijngaarden
Title TattleDecember 7, 2020

The founder of the estate agency Unique Estates, Nicolette Van Wijngaarden made 16 last-ditch unsuccessful attempts to secure funding to keep her business afloat, District Court documents have revealed.

The estate agent was jailed midweek for more than three years with a one-year-and-nine-months non-parole period, after pleading guilty to a $3.6 million trust fund fraud.

After the largest real estate fraud in NSW history, Judge Pickering noted that the court could not endorse stealing to ensure that the business did not fail.

Van Wijngaarden had told her pre-sentence hearing an unnamed Byron Bay billionaire had pulled out of his $4 million proposed bailout just days before its February 2018 collapse after speaking to his solicitor.

The documents reveal the billionaire to be Tom Misner, the international music producer.

Brad Garnham, Michael Guo and Michael Kollosche were also approached, without success. Even Prospa declined to offer finance.

It was solicitor Nicholas Eddy, acting for Collette Dinnigan, who prompted the NSW Fair Trading investigation after a deposit went missing following the sale of one of Dinnigan’s Milton farms.

This article first appeared in the Sunday Telegraph. 

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