The Victims of Financial Fraud (VOFF) group have written to senators slamming ASIC chair James Shipton for ignoring their requests for help but finding "time to submerge his own head in the trough allegedly at taxpayer expense".
VOFF secretary John Telford wrote to Senator Penny Wong informing her that VOFF's activism in relation to the Trio Capital fraud had been ignored by Shipton.
He said that in 2018, the group wrote to Shipton and asked him to please inform authorities in Guernsey (an island in the English Channel) that a Guernsey citizen should be questioned in relation to managing one of the Trio Capital funds. Shipton did not reply.
"VOFF is angry because while Mr Shipton didn't take five minutes to help 1000 Australians who are victims of the Trio Capital fraud, he had the time to submerge his own head in the trough allegedly at taxpayer expense," Telford said.
|Sponsored by Praemium|
Bridging the platform gap
"At no time during the ordeal surrounding the investigation into the Trio fraud did ASIC help the 1000 victims that were not part of the APRA-supervised funds that were covered by Part 23 of the SIS Act. ASIC's unwillingness to help caused more harm than if there was no ASIC agent altogether."
He said that ASIC had failed victims of fraud, while overseas regulators manage to see victims compensated. Telford pointed to the example of Bernie Madoff's Ponzi scheme - victims managed to recover 78% of losses thanks to the actions of US authorities.
"That the financial cop on the beat, under the watch of allegedly a deceitful chair, James Shipton and deputy chair, Daniel Crennan, turned their backs on genuine victims of financial crime to benefit from ill-gotten gains," Telford said.
"Victims of financial crime in Australia deserve an apology. Victims of financial crime in Australia with outstanding unresolved issues need to be taken seriously and an urgent inquiry into what can be done must be carried out."
He also slammed Treasury, as allegations have emerged that Treasury may have known about the concerns relating to Shipton and Crennan's remuneration and failed to act.
"Why are victims of financial crime able to perceive the Treasury Department as an agent that is protecting the failures by the financial regulators and allowing ordinary Australian to suffer the consequences?" he said.
Shipton was paid relocation expenses of $118,5557 and Crennan received $69,621 in rental assistance.