One moment of trust and this couple lost everything

Annette and Michael Fox, from Pottsville, lost everything when they invested money in a dishonest scheme on the Gold Coast.
Annette and Michael Fox, from Pottsville, lost everything when they invested money in a dishonest scheme on the Gold Coast. Rae Wilson

ONE bad decision cost a Pottsville couple their home, savings and their health.

Annette, 60, and Michael, 70, Fox had retired and were enjoying their "beautiful" Burleigh Cove home on the Gold Coast.

But when a friend told them they could trust their life with two men running a high-return investment scheme, they thought they could set their children up too.

"Michael's idea was to get into it for a short time and then get out in the hope we could make enough money to give our children deposits on their homes," Mrs Fox said.

"It was for selflessness that we became involved in it.

"We've had to sell our home.

"We've lost everything, I mean, everything."

Ronald David Williams, 46, and Gary David Maile, 64, were jailed for four years and three months last week over a dishonest investment scheme they ran through their finance company Selection One on the Gold Coast.

When they went into voluntary administration, the men had debts of almost $21 million owed to 88 investors after promising huge returns they could not deliver on.

Williams, from Lismore, and Maile, from Gympie, will be released on parole after serving 16 months.

Mr Fox said the men owed them almost $750,000 which they would never see again.

He said the couple also lost their "cars, savings, a lot of super, our friends, family too".

"We were retired and we had to go back and start a business," Mrs Fox said.

"It is an importing business where we have worked extremely hard."

Mr Fox said the pair had to work seven days a week for months establishing the business which had now been running for six years.

"It's destroyed us really - we don't know if we'll even be able to own a home again," he said.

Mrs Fox said it was impossible to put a figure on the cost to their health - admitting she now suffered from panic attacks and depression.

"I went and begged Ron for money because I've got a daughter that's going blind and I needed money for transplant surgery," she said.

"He just wasn't interested."

The Foxes said the sentencing of the two men last week, after six years of waiting, made them feel sick.

"If a man was running down the street and he took my handbag, he'd be in prison.

"These men have been able to walk for six years free."

Topics:  editors picks fraud investment scam

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