Dear Mr James Shipton,  (ex Goldman Sachs)
 
The Collapse of the STERLING LIFE GROUP - A Failure of the Australian Securities and Investment Commission and a lack of action to warn consumers, and not shutting  down this operation and allowing more people to become victims.
 
This is an urgent demand for compensation from ASIC of $26 million within 8 weeks due to what we believe was a regulatory negligence which resulted in my myself along with another 100 retirees losing their life savings to a company which ASIC already knew would likely fail. Such was the nature of the company setup the failure will also mean that rents will not be paid and all 101 of us will most certainly be issued with breach notices and asked to vacate our premises. As a result our money is gone, where we live is untenable and we are all over 65. I am not sure if you are aware but this means that it is extremely difficult to attain employment at such an advanced age and in my case due to needing two knee operations, severe arthritis in several joints throughout my body.  I also suffer from lymphedema making it impossible to walk without the assistance of a mobility walker.
 
I paid $198,000 in December 2016 believing that this money was paid into a trust company, Sterling Investment Trust, for a lifelong lease on a property in Woodbridge Western Australia. We were instructed by Ryan Jones a director for Sterling New Life that the money will be safe in a trust and no one can touch this money even if they went bankrupt. We have since found out from THETA, the trust managers that this was never set up as a trust, rather an investment fund operating very close to a Ponzi scheme. This is one of many failures by ASIC as this should never be allowed to occur as trust’s should only be allowed to proceed with the approval of ASIC.
 
I have been hard working for many years since the age of 14; I have paid my taxes and contributed to the community for over 60 years.  I now find myself at age 74, in a position where my money has been stolen and we will be fully dependent on the government for survival for the rest of our lives and without the security of a roof over our heads.  ASIC’s failure to act on breaches by this group of companies going as far back as 2015 has been total negligence by ASIC, directly contributing to our current position.

 

   
I also have been in contact with many victims of this collapse who are suffering from terminal illnesses and only have months to live and now have to worry about this. Not to mention I and many victims of the Sterling Collapse where told that we were not only be set up for life but able to leave an inheritance to family to help them in life. This is now gone and some of these victims now feel like they will go to their grave letting their families down. I put it to you we didn’t let our families down but ASIC by failing to act let everyone in the community down and this not the first time. I know if I was in your position I would find this heartbreaking and feel guilty that my organisation did not do more but now you have an opportunity to at least ease this pain for all 101 retirees. Even some of the directors in question have form which you must have been aware of and you still did not shut down this operation.


Please accept this letter as our request for a compensation claim for $26 million on behalf of all those affected by the Sterling collapse fiasco from ASIC’s due to their negligence within the 8 week time frame as outlined by Ms Denise Brailey from BFCSA.


 
Yours Sincerely