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BFCSA: Angry Letters to JAMES SHIPTON re Sterling Collapse # 53

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Friday, 28 June 2019

Mr. James Shipton

Chairman of Australian Securities & Investment commission


Dear Mr. Shipton

RE: The collapse of the Sterling New Life Group – A failure of ASIC


I am one of the 101 tenants caught up in the SNL corporate fiasco, which is an act of pure negligence on ASIC’s behalf.

I am a disabled pensioner/retiree who bought into this scheme that was sold to me as a secure, 40-year life lease. As I am disabled, moving into this type of arrangement was to be a new lease on life, promoted as a safe and affordable living option.

My investment was $165,000, plus I have added $20,000 in improvements to suit my disability, and to make it wheelchair friendly to suit my health requirements. I am now out of pocket over $200,000 in total after relocating into this scheme aimed at retirees as a new lifestyle at an affordable price with only ongoing utility payments needing to be paid. This was a dream come true. My outlay of $200,000 has now been lost and stolen by Ray and Ryan Jones (and company), in their corporate fraud escapade.

This should never have been allowed to happen as you, ASIC, where the Watch Dogs and new red flags had been raised, but lack of action and duty of care was not taken. Troubles within this company were recognised back in 2015 and again in 2017, but you failed to make Australian retirees aware of this company and your concerns. ASIC should have acted and not been negligent in their duties as a commission that is there to protect our interests from corporate fraud such as these.

Where were you? You failed in your duty of care! This is pure negligence on a grand scale. I was sold my 40-year life lease as a secure investment, lies!! I was told I would receive rent assistance; I was denied rent assistance by Centrelink when they saw it was SNL, Moore lies!! I appealed this decision, again denied. This is a national disgrace and the fact that ASIC failed to act upon their concerns after 2015 and 2017 is purely criminal negligence. Being a disabled pensioner now for over 20 years, I was medically discharged from employment as an educator and can no longer work. My daughters are my carers. I have lost every dollar to my name.

I cannot afford to pay market rental prices in Mandurah, Western Australia. Prices range from $350 to $450 per week. I received $920 per fortnight in my disability pension. My ongoing medical costs are $160 per week, plus living expenses and running my car. How do I survive now?

I am facing eviction from my home that I loved and was adapted to suit Matty. I have lost over $200,000 that I thought was safe and secure. I sought independent legal advice with my contract and did my due diligence checking out this scheme with SNL before signing up in March 2018.

The waiting list for public housing is 8 to 10 years, and I do not want to be forced to live in a lower socioeconomic area because ASIC fail to act on my behalf and make your concerns available for

Australians to check them out. We found nothing to concern us. My solicitor / lawyer found nothing to concern her and the contract was deemed safe. You're at fault!

When I became aware of the SNL collapse and liquidation, handed into administrators Ferrier Hodgson, it was only through word of mouth. I have still not been contacted by the company SNL. We cannot find who owns my property. We cannot find a paper trail of where my $165,000 was placed in SNL. We only have my initial contract details. Nothing more! This is pure fraud by Ray and Brian Jones.

When I heard about the prospect of being evicted, being homeless and penniless, it caused so much stress, aggravation and worry, it cause me to have 4 seizures, resulting in 4 collapses into unconsciousness. These collapses resulted in me falling onto the hard-tiled floor of my unit, leaving me over period of 3 hours trying to contact my daughters to rescue me and call an ambulance.

I needed the spinal care unit, ended up with a huge gash to my chin requiring 8 stitches; I had 12 teeth shattered, smashed and dislodged which resulted in 3 being surgically removed, with 4 more to be removed and 6 dislodged teeth (so traumatized the nerves have died), so now I am facing having root canals to these 6 teeth. The ones extracted will now need to be replaced by dentures top and bottom partial to my remaining chipped and cracked teeth.

I'm facing a good 12 months of ongoing dental repairs, and treatments and surgeries to rectify the trauma and damage that I suffered along with concussion, bruising and weeks of rehabilitation. I lost consciousness over a period of 3 hours resulting in four major falls with damage to my face, chin, head, teeth, jawbone and ears. I'm still on a soft diet and having major ear problems due to cracking my head and ears up on my falling head and face first to the floor.

I have had to go back on to antidepressant and pain medications that since my collapses and I'm suffering PTSD flashbacks since that night 20th of May 2019. I was admitted by spinal care ambulance into Fiona Stanley Hospital for 3 days of pain treatments and stitches and physiotherapy help.

Can you tell me how I am now to afford all these ongoing dental treatment and costs, when I don't have any money left after losing over $200,000 stolen by SNL, and ASIC’s failure to inform us of the risks they were aware of? This is caused so much undue stress, pain and worry as well as extra financial pressures at every turn.

I hold you, Mr Shipton, 100% totally responsible for my losses and for causing so much stress and worry that it caused my collapses and subsequent health troubles. I also had a 9-day family holiday book to Bali in July and have been forced to cancel this because of the ongoing Medical and Dental treatments that I now have to undergo for the next 12 months.

I also hold you, Mr Shipton, fully and totally responsible for my losses because of your actions and negligence in this debacle. You and ASIC failed to protect us. You failed to act when concerns were raised! You failed 101 tenants of SNL across Australia (WA, QLD and Vic). You failed me! I hold you responsible!

You should resign and hang your head in shame. You failed to inform us all about the known risks, lack of disclosure and SNL’s fraudulent activities, their deceitful Product Disclosure Statements and this has all resulted in the destruction of our futures. Where do we go from here? We have nothing left, no superannuation funds, my disability payout was used to fund my living arrangements. I am to be homeless and facing eviction. Will I be forced to live in tent city or under a bridge?

We are left with nothing to move forward! We have no hope! We will be forced to rely upon a government for handouts for many years to come. This could and should have been avoided. You sir decided our futures. You have killed our hopes, our dreams, our futures, our sanity, our health and you must pay for it! I demand that ASIC pays $26 million within the next 6 weeks to enable us retirees / pensioners the redress we deserve. Our families should not have to bail us out because of your negligence to act. You must act and pay the $26 million owing, so that everyone of us knows that this fiasco will never be allowed to happen again, and laws must be changed to avoid these fraudulent people, and to stop their greedy companies from scamming innocent retirees of their life savings.

This setup was nothing more than a Ponzi scheme! It was sold as a secure investment with all money is placed into a trust. No such trust account was ever set up. This must never be repeated. I do not want to hear or see of any other person being put through this despicable and deplorable situation. It could have been avoided, and as the corporate watchdog whose duty it was to protect us, you failed miserably in your duty of care. You failed every SNL tenant who trusted SNL to act in our best interests.

Mr Michael Sukkar, the Federal Minister has admitted that ASIC probably failed those retirees whose money was at risk. If you had alerted us of the known problems of 2015 and 2017, there would have been no risk! No losses! This is regulatory neglect on a massive scale.

We were informed all along that the money was secured in a trust. It was never placed in a trust. You were aware of serious allegations made against a number of companies and individuals within this group. These allegations included misleading or deceptive conduct, unconscionable conduct and breaches of conduct. Where were you Mr Shipton?

ASIC receives a $420 million yearly budget to protect Australians from corporate fraud, and to act on behalf of all of us in such cases. You failed to act for us! You failed to protect us! There was no duty of care!

You must make amends and return the $26 million that is rightfully ours. Without our money returned, we have no home, no hope, no future. You must act now. We are old, we are hurting, we are angry. We were robbed!

Sincerely yours,


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