A GERMAN couple have denounced an expat estate agent for failing to return €289,000 for a four-bed apartment on the Costa del Sol.
In a denuncia, seen by the Olive Press, the couple claim the money was ‘kept’ after it was sent to the private account of the agent Pandora Homes, in Sotogrande.
In the shocking claim filed with police, the couple, from Berlin, believe she is now shutting her company and intends to leave Spain, ‘predictably to Dubai’.
And former staff of the company – which has closed at least one office and laid off various employees this month – believe there may be many more such cases.
The Olive Press has discovered that the company’s owners Nadine Dijkman and husband Eddy have previously been involved in a murky case in Alicante… and were named in a separate television investigation back in their native Holland in 2012.
Their most recent dispute centres around the purchase of the swish property in Casares del Mar this year.
German investors Hans and Jutta fell in love with the property and sent €328,000 (including a deposit since returned) to Pandora’s account, in February and March, which it has since emerged was actually Nadine’s personal account.
However, on the day they were due to sign for the property in May they were told that the sale mysteriously could not go through.
“We didn’t find out until we were actually at the Estepona notary, when we were told cheques could not be issued,” said Hans, whose surname we are protecting for legal reasons.
“We waited for two hours to discover the money had not arrived.”
The couple – who have now flown seven times from Berlin to resolve the issue – say Dijkman has been continually evasive.
They claim she has come up with many excuses as to why she could not make meetings or send back the money she owes.
“When we first spoke to her about buying, she was so nice and friendly,” explained Hans.
“We were so excited about buying the apartment here – but now we feel utterly hopeless.”
The couple’s lawyer, based in Marbella, explained that Dijkman was anything but clear over the passing of the deal.
“Worse, she got the money sent to her personal account, not a company one,” he said.
He continued: “There are various discrepancies and my clients are doing everything they can to claim their money back.”
When our reporters visited its two offices in Sotogrande Port and the nearby Paniagua centre, this week they found that both offices were closed at 5pm and all computers and furniture had been removed from one.
More alarming were the words of various former employees, who insist that there may be more cases, perhaps running into the dozens.
“We took between 20 to 25 deposits from homebuyers last month alone,” said one key member of staff, who claims to be owed €40,000 for salary and commissions.
“I can’t believe they would be so silly to do it in this way, take money into their own bank accounts,” he continued.
The pair certainly showed off the trappings of their success – Dijkman driving an Audi convertible while her husband cruises around in a Mercedes.
They have also have bought property in Dubai and ate out in expensive restaurants, even taking a tour around an expensive yacht, named Livibel, this summer.
“They are leading an enviable life, lots of travelling, including Monaco last week,” said one former Dutch staff member.
“Meanwhile many of us are owed thousands of euros. It’s not on.”
He continued: “Nadine was always out with an automatic transaction machine, a device you put someone’s card into and people can pay a deposit anywhere in the world.
“I believe she may have taken more deposits into her private account.
“And having done my research on where they previously lived I can see they have a track record of this behaviour,” he added.
He is referring to a popular Dutch TV program Opgelicht featuring Nadine and her husband Eddy in 2012, claiming she duped her first husband, indebting him by around €70,000.
While Nadine told the Olive Press it is totally untrue and she sued and won for libel, the story remains online seven years later, and the producers completely deny her claim.
During our investigation into Dijkman’s dealings, Pandora Homes sent the Olive Press a cease and desist letter in collaboration with a lawyer.
However, when we contacted the lawyer the following day he insisted she was not a client of his.
This week Dijkman denied any criminality was involved and that ‘within ten days the money will be back in the account of Hans and Jutta’.
“All salaries have been paid, but even if I couldn’t pay them I don’t think that’s criminal – there are a lot of companies that do that.”
She confirmed she had received the denuncia and admitted she ‘may be sued for the delay’.
“In the future I would never do a deal without a lawyer.”
She added: “The reason we could not pay everyone initially was because our account was blocked after we received a transaction from Dubai and we needed to provide paperwork showing it was legitimate before it could become unblocked and we could pay the people we owe.
“This is not a nice situation and we are trying to resolve it – but Hans and Jutta did know they were paying into my personal account.”
She confirmed a second company, Dijkman Investments is closing, despite only being formed in July this year.
Do you have any information on Dijkman? We would love to hear from you.
Tel: 951 27 35 75