How ‘millionaire’ and lover allegedly duped investors
EXCLUSIVE: When investment property hunters and tradies began dealing with the seemingly slick N1 Homes, little did they know that behind it was this man and his then lover - both of whom were already facing fraud charges.
Having led the high life in Thailand and the US, Matt "Millionair" Nair and his now ex-wife Jessica Wilson were charged in August 2014 over an alleged kit home scam.
It was not until this year that the pair were charged with fraud in relation to N1 Homes.
They are accused of using phony photos of supposed construction work on Queensland sites to dupe investment property buyers thousands of kilometres away into approving progress payments when little or no work had been done.
Police have characterised the N1 investigation and subsequent arrest of the duo - "Operation North Sunbound" - as a triumph of collaboration with building regulators.
But those who have lost out feel otherwise.
They don't understand how Nair and Wilson were able to run the N1 Homes business given in 2011 Nair - or Matthew Williams as he was then calling himself - was permanently excluded from being the director of a Queensland Building Services Authority-licensed company.
A public warning issued by the QBSA at the time said Williams was also known as Edwin Nair and Edwin Mack and anyone dealing with him should "exercise extreme caution and seek legal advice before making commitments or payments, to protect their interests".
Police claim he has a total of seven aliases, according to a brief filed in the Magistrates Court in 2015.
The August 2014 fraud charges against Nair and Wilson predated N1 starting a Townsville project that allegedly dudded investment property buyers of more than $2 million, according to a police media release.
Local trades were stiffed for nearly $1 million, the administrators' report shows. A company owned by Nair and Wilson held a one-third stake in N1.
The QBSA was replaced in 2013 by the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC) which attempted to move against N1 in October 2014.
But it didn't cancel N1's licence until September 2015 - the same month administrators were appointed. N1 was registered as a company in January 2014.
"This whole scenario in Townsville could have been avoided," said Kylie McIlroy, whose scaffolding business allegedly lost $80,000 to N1. It first began pricing work for the company in October 2014.
She and an estimated 50 other local businesses had no idea who they were dealing with. Nor could they. But authorities arguably should have.
Asked to explain, a QBCC spokesman said in a statement: "In November 2017, the Queensland Government introduced legislation that gave the QBCC stronger powers to investigate matters of this nature. In 2014 there was insufficient evidence to prove Mathew Williams was a director, secretary or influential person" at N1.
Documents filed with the Queensland Supreme Court in his application for bail show Fiji-born Nair has a criminal history dating to 2000 when he was convicted of armed robbery under the alias Edwin Mack.
He received a two-year jail sentence that was suspended. In 2003 he was convicted of common assault.
He and Wilson met in 2009.
They moved in together at Hope Island a year later, according to an affidavit by Wilson filed in a Queensland Supreme Court bail application variation for Nair in 2017.
She was studying business and accountancy at Queensland University of Technology plus doing a traineeship at Deloitte. He was running a Gold Coast building company.
After the alleged kit homes scheme went bust they moved to Thailand until July 2011 and then to the US, where Nair ran "a property business which bought, renovated and sold homes in Las Vegas, Atlanta, Arizona and Indiana", Wilson said in the court document.
"While in America, Matthew became ill with a blood disorder and seizures, so we decided to return to Australia," she said in the court document.
But an affidavit filed with the Supreme Court in 2015 by an employee of the Director of Public Prosecutions alleges his return was an attempt to "to flee the USA where he was being investigated for fraud offences".
Nair is now facing charges relating to falsely applying for an Australian passport and the alleged kit homes scam, over which Wilson has also been charged. Both have also been charged with extortion.
In an affidavit filed with the Magistrates Court in 2014 Nair says he learned of the kit homes charges in August that year while he was in the Philippines working on "mining and humanitarian projects".
According to a police brief filed in the Magistrates Court in 2015, Nair has been charged with allegedly dishonestly obtaining $119,000 from BMW Finance for a Range Rover, plus another of fraud over a $900,000 loan from Suncorp by claiming he and Wilson had $600,000 in a Bank of Queensland account and were earning $120,000 a year. She has also been charged over these accusations, according to her 2017 Supreme Court affidavit.
The brief alleges "subsequent inquiries by police have determined that both of these claims used to secure the (Suncorp) loan were false. (Nair) is in fact unemployed and a former disability pension holder and does not have any bank accounts in Australia with $600,000 in credit."
There is also an attempted fraud charge against him over what police describe as a "mentoring program".
In the 2015 Magistrates court brief, police claim Nair told a first-time buyer he would show him how to assemble "a multimillion-dollar property portfolio within 12 months.
Alongside this portfolio; the complainant would also live alongside him in his 'high life' flying private jets, high rollers room casino nights, fast cars, and world travel.
The defendant boasted of having $15 million-plus of assets, property and other schemes (and Nair) said that all the complainant had to do to take advantage of his offer was to give him $28,500. (He) said don't think of it as a payment, think of it as a trust relationship between the two of us so I can make you a millionaire."
Nair and Wilson, who separated in 2016, are defending all allegations. They would not comment when approached by News Corp Australia.
Nair is expected to go to trial in June over the earlier charges. It is not known when Ms Wilson will go to trial over the older accusations. Her lawyer did not respond before deadline.