Leader of the Federal Opposition

Hon. Mr Anthony Albanese

PO Box 6022

House of Representatives, Parliament House, Canberra, ACT 2600

 

 

Dear Mr Albanese

Sterling New Life Scandal – WA, QLD, Victoria

We would like to let you know of how we were involved with this scandal. After having investigated the company fully and seeking legal advice and financial advice, we were told that this was on the low side of risk.

We entered into a “rent for Life” scheme in September, 2018 with the Sterling Group. In May, 2019 we were informed that the company had gone into voluntary administration. In June, 2019 we received a letter saying that the company had gone into liquidation. In 7 short months we had lost $280,00.00 to white collar crime in Australia.

We understand that as far back as 2015 WA Consumer Affairs investigated Sterling and found breaches of the Corporations Law. As this is a Federal issue they referred this matter to ASIC.

The money which we invested into Sterling was supposed to cover our rent for 40 years. This has obviously not happened as we are now paying $1,400.00 per month on our rent needless to say this has had a severe impact on our finances and our future plans leading into retirement.

We have lost all our savings in this scandal which means that:

1.      We will have to work for longer

2.       We will have to use our superannuation to buy a place of residence as we cannot afford to pay rent for the rest of our lives

3.      We will have to rely on the Aged Pension as we go into retirement, where we had planned to be self-funded retirees.

Sterling had been investigated by ASIC long before we had our funds stolen. When we invested with Sterling, we were informed that our rent would be covered for the rest of our lives. We were also told that we would not have to pay stamp duty, rates and taxes, and water rates ever again. The maintenance for the property would also be covered. All the above were lies.

We were under the impression that we would not have to worry about any finances for the rest of our lives. Instead we are struggling to make ends meet.

Would it be possible to consider raising this matter in the House of Representatives as a matter of public importance?

We would also like to let you know that we have already written to ASIC, The Treasurer and the Prime Minister. ASIC and the Treasurer sent us a letter which referred to general information only and not to our specific situation. We have also to date not heard from the Prime Minister.

ASIC has failed to protect us and we are both hard working Australians. The purpose  raising this issue with you as the Opposition Leader is that we believe that compensation from the Government is the best means of obtaining justice for all victims of the Sterling scandal and ASICs failure to protect consumers from white collar crime.

 

We also believe that an urgent Royal Commission into ASIC is needed in order to prevent these sorts of White collar crimes in Australia.

We look forward to your response regarding our situation and all the Sterling victims.

Yours Sincerely

 R & G