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BFCSA: Angry Letters from Victims of Lazy ASIC re Sterling Collapse # 51

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Australian Securities & Investments Commission,
120 Collins St, Melbourne VIC 3000


Dear Mr Shipton


I am writing to you concerning an investment my financial adviser recommended in the Sterling First property group.

I was told by my adviser an investment in Sterling first would give me access to a safe as houses investment and I would also receive a shareholding in RMIT with these entities to be listed on the ASX in the short term.

Approx 18 months after my initial investment I contacted Sterling demanding a repayment of funds as I had been misled by not being provided what was initially offered. I took this up with Sterling management who shuffled the blame to another party.

The person I was in contact with at Sterling was Mr Simon Bell, I am now told Simon was at the helm of Westpoint collapse some years earlier and appeared also to do the same thing at Kebbel Funds management, how ASIC allowed this man to be a director bemuses me.

The person who introduced this investment to my adviser was a Mr Ashley Howard who was subsequently given a lifetime ban by ASIC as a director. This was after stealing IPO funds from an ASX listed company and bankrupted by the wolf of wall street.


I don’t understand how ASIC has know about Simon Bell since May 2000 and the total collapse of the group in 2006 for $330 million, ASIC was also aware of Finchley Central Funds Management previously Kebbel Funds Management which was also run by Simon Bell which ASIC was investigating prior to its also liquidation and also prior to my investment, another $ 50 million of funds disappeared here as well. ASIC wound this fund up and a year later the same guys were getting investors money again!!

How could ASIC let this same guy do almost the exact same thing time and time again to investors like myself. You have nearly a half a billion dollar budget, how you could not see this happening is a matter of no less than pure incompetence

You took the other director Neil Burnard to court in 2009 over making false and misleading statements, he was the business partner of Simon Bell.

It seems nearly every person I have seen in this business has either been banned permanently as a director by ASIC, taken to court for false or misleading statements by ASIC or been involved in massive losses to the public and wound up by ASIC.

Sterling continuously was seeking new investors and funding for approx. the last ten years, I was never shown any audited accounts.

How can a business operate without audited accounts and raise money from the general public.

I demand ASIC be held accountable and seek a full return of my funds invested.


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Guest Friday, 07 August 2020