22 August 2019

 

Dr Jim Chalmers

Shadow Treasurer

PO Box 6022

House of Representatives

Parliament House

Canberra ACT 2600

 

STERLING NEW LIFE SCANDAL – WA, QLD, VIC

ROYAL COMMISSION INTO ASIC

 

Dear Dr Chalmers

 

I am writing to you, and other members of the Opposition, regarding the Sterling New Life and ASIC fiascos in the hope that you will ask a number of questions of the Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and Assistant Treasurer Michael Sukkar when Parliament resumes in September.

 

After doing our due diligence my husband and I paid for a 40-year Sterling New Life lease in October 2017 expecting to see out our remaining years in a very secure unit in Mandurah. We thought that this money was placed in a trust but now it appears that it was more of a Ponzi scheme and our money was used as a personal piggy bank for the directors. We also invested $75,000 in units in late 2018 which were supposedly going to be listed on the ASX within weeks. This never happened and again Ponzi scheme springs to mind. We have worked hard all our lives and just wanted to enjoy our retirement with a few simple pleasures like holidays, coffees and meals out whilst still ensuring that we had something to leave our children.

With the collapse of the Sterling Group all our money is gone, disappeared, stolen and we face the very real prospect of being homeless in the near future. Can you even imagine the amount of stress and anguish that we are going through at the moment?  This is an intolerable situation for us and the many other vulnerable seniors who have been left in this position through no fault of our own.

 

It has come to light that ASIC was warned in 2015 by the Department of Consumer Affairs in WA regarding some of the Sterling Groups products but failed to notify or warn consumers. Some of the key players and directors of these companies have been involved in other white-collar crime sprees and corporate collapses and were well known to ASIC, yet again this was never communicated to the victims. 

 

 

The questions I would like answered are:

1.      Why is the Treasurer stating that the Sterling collapse is a State matter when clearly this is a Federal matter due to the many breaches of the Corporation Act?

2.      Why is the Treasurer suggesting the victims contact the Ombudsman who have no investigative skills?

3.      Why did the assistant Treasurer announce in a radio interview on 21 June 2019 that he had ordered ASIC to conduct an internal investigation into the mishandling of the Sterling scandal yet admit 6 weeks later that this had not happened?

4.      Why has the Treasurer not ordered a Royal Commission into ASIC over the regulators stated mishandling of the Sterling affair?

5.      Why is the Treasurer tolerating ASIC's untruths of WHAT it knew and WHEN regarding Sterling and its directors?

 

We are a strong, determined group under the leadership of Denise Brailey and would value your support in demanding an immediate one-off payment of $28.6 million to the devastated victims and also a Royal Commission into the negligent behaviour of ASIC over many years.

 

 

Yours sincerely

 DP