ASIC accused of slow response to Trio

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Victims of Financial Fraud (VOFF) spokesperson Paul Matters is accusing ASIC of having acted too slowly back in October 2009in freezing a Trio-related bank account that contained investors’ funds.

Speaking to members of VOFF on Friday, he produced what he said was the last bank statement for Astarra Capital – one of the superannuation funds that Trio Capital was trustee for – and claimed it showed that ASIC’s failure to act earlier resulted in more investors’ money being stolen. He said the statement showed almost $75m in the account as at 30 June 2009, and that ASIC froze the account only in October, at which point it contained no money.

VOFF members last week marched to the office of Member for Throsby Stephen Jones, who they have accused of being insensitive to victims in the Illawarra community that were denied access to a $55m compensation plan. They were delivering letters asking Jones to retract a statement he made to the press regarding the loss of funds from the Trio collapse.

Matters said the statement was disgraceful, false, and done for political purposes. “The Member for Throsby claims in the paper that the cause of all this is your decision to invest in Astarra. It’s like saying if you’re in a car accident and you’re hit by someone driving on the wrong side of the road who’s drunk, then you contributed to the accident because you bought the car and you were driving,” he said.

Matters claims that the bank statement is a “smoking gun” that proves a cover-up in the case. He called for a meeting with Jones to go through the information, and for Jones to withdraw the statements he made that were “against the good name” of investors.