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BFCSA: Angry Letters to JOSH FRYDENBERG re Sterling Collapse # 13

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 4th July 2019

The Federal Treasurer

Hon. Josh Frydenberg MP

P O Box 6022

House of Representatives: Parliament House

Canberra ACT 2600



Dear Mr Frydenberg,


I am writing to you asking for your help. I am one of the 800 victims suffering loss by the COLLAPSE OF THE STERLING GROUP.


I am a 70 yr old pensioner, who invested the last of my superannuation ($4000) in shares of Sterling Group.

18 months ago, I had to return to part time work to make ends meet. March of this year I was in financial difficulties and contacted Brian Ruzich at Stirling Income Trust told him of my difficulties and said I needed to take my investment out. Mr Ruzich told me I would be better off to wait as the company was going on the share market in May. Regrettably I followed his advice and in May was informed the company had collapsed.

I now have trouble sleeping at night due to financial worries, this is affecting my efficiency at work which then causes more concern and worry. I feel I am in a vicious circle of hopelessness.

I believe ASIC knew of the likelihood of failure of The Sterling Group in 2015 and failed to take appropriate action to protect vulnerable and older consumers by issuing early vital warnings of catastrophic financial loss and by delaying stop orders.

It appears no proper investigation ever took place, ASIC allowed older persons to be preyed upon and left them unprotected from known offenders. ASIC then waits until the inevitable and foreseeable collapse is made public by the media.

The point of this letter Mr Treasurer, I and all other members are aware of your monthly meetings with ASIC hierarchy, as a long-established protocol and we wish to ask if the names Sterling or Heritage was ever discussed in those briefings and notes?

Treasury have had to listen to the same excuses for 20 years and take minutes of each meeting. It is time for Treasury to appoint a competent consumer protector. It is fair to say every current victim of Sterling is “not happy Josh.”

We are publicly demanding that due to ASIC’s wealth of data and historical records of evidence collected and, due to ASIC’s obvious and repeated criminal negligence, ASIC immediately pay the victims of STERLING GROUP, whether investors, rolled over shareholders, tenants or landlords be refunded $36 million within the next 7 weeks.

Another 200 victims of the Sterling Group and its predecessor range of companies have been recently located in Melbourne. These are the “rollover victims:” monies handed over in 2010 and people who have been trying to recover their 12-month investment since 2011. This is typical identification of a Ponzi structure. Further people were added to those same loss registers in 2017. ASIC did ban one seller but allowed the companies to continue with no warnings to the public.

ASIC recently lied to the public by telling the media they were unaware of this looming collapsible corporate structure, that they first heard of Sterling Group in 2018.

ASIC continually and gleefully leaves older decent hard-working Australians at risk of being targeted by white collar criminals who inhabit the exceptionally dangerous world of Australian financial products.

Time and again the same names appear. ASIC has often been criticised as a do-nothing regulator, but this latest collapse, whilst small by comparison, may be the key to opening up ASIC’s Pandora’s Box.

We ask the Treasury to please arrange for the immediate and urgent payment of the $36 million we seek in order to settle these matters as expeditiously as possible. We have older people who are living in substandard structures and threatened with eviction; landlords who have 100% loans (debt) and no income (due to stolen funds) via seven banks; plus aggrieved so called “investors,” who are immediately left for years without income but loaded up with fakes shares in non-listed companies. We are calling for moratoriums on the mortgage loans due to this diabolical situation.

I expect to receive a positive, immediate outcome and urgent response of when the sought-after compensation funds of $ 36 million will be made available. Older people are becoming quite stressed; and suffering medical conditions that require immediate attention.


Yours Faithfully

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