Defrauded trustee lodges ASIC complaint

An SMSF trustee who lost $110,000 in the collapse of Trio Capital has written to the Senate complaining about the corporate regulator’s failure to prevent the fraud.

In a formal submission to the Senate inquiry into the performance of ASIC, Mrs Kay Gal said the money from her SMSF had been invested through Tarrants Financial Services, a Wollongong-based financial planning firm now in liquidation.

“As a victim of the Trio Capital fraud we were under the impression that ASIC were the financial regulators and were [supposed] to create confidence in the marketplace,” Ms Gal wrote in the submission.

“Giving a licence to an alleged fraudster to handle Australian superannuation money betrayed our confidence,” she added.

“We respectfully request your intervention and assistance in granting us compensation for the money that was stolen.”

In April 2011, the government announced it would pay $55 million in compensation to victims of the Trio Collapse under a scheme available only to APRA-regulated funds.

As ASIC confirmed in its release on the compensation arrangements, some 285 SMSFs would not be compensated, of which Ms Gal is one.

She joined ‘Victims of Financial Fraud’, an Illawarra-based organisation which represents investors denied access to Trio compensation.

The secretary of Victims of Financial Fraud, John Telford, lost $600,000 in the collapse.

Speaking with SMSF Adviser, Mr Telford was critical of ASIC’s failure to communicate with victims.

“There’s a lot of stuff that’s happening that they will not communicate to the victims….not only was it out of our hands initially, before the fraud happened, there’s a limit of what [information] an investor can [obtain],” he said.

Mr Telford had emailed the members of Victims of Financial Fraud inviting them to make individual submissions to the Senate inquiry and said his organisation was separately negotiating with the government to outline its concerns.

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