Scorned Trio investors to target ALP seats

Burnt Trio Capital investors have warned they will target Labor seats during the federal election campaign to expose the government's "apathy" towards their plight.

A lobby group representing Wollongong investors who were denied access to a $55 million compensation package after the Trio Capital collapse will hold a public meeting on Saturday to outline their "political intent in this election year".

Victims Of Financial Fraud secretary John Telford said the group "can and will affect the outcome of targeted federal seats".

On behalf of nearly 300 investors, the group has compiled an "act of grace" compensation claim, which Mr Telford said was the largest of its type in Australia's history.

"It chronicles the negligence and failures of the Australian financial system," he said.

The act of grace mechanism is generally an avenue of last resort under special circumstances, used by the finance minister where there is no other viable avenue to provide redress.

The group was denied access in 2011 to compensation because they were not in government-regulated superannuation funds.

They had hoped a year-long parliamentary inquiry - which ended in May last year - would recommend an extension of the compensation arrangements.

But they were left disappointed after MPs found it was "not prudent at this time" to protect self-managed super fund investment from theft and fraud losses.

Mr Telford said the finding left some victims fending for themselves.

"The regulators have been let off lightly by the federal government," Mr Telford said.

"No-one has been made accountable."

The group claims many Trio Capital victims invested in the critical period of late 2008 and 2009 - after the Australian Prudential Authority (APRA) and the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) indicated concerns about Trio Capital.

"The group, through numerous Freedom of Information requests, has been denied access to relevant information relating to how brazenly this event occurred, right under the noses of APRA and ASIC," Mr Telford said.

"They won't reveal the contents of interviews with the so-called masterminds of the fraud. They don't want it revealed because it exposes the weaknesses and vulnerabilities of the financial system."

Mr Telford said guest speakers at the meeting would "outline the fraud, expose the whitewash and the failure of regulators to fully disclose information to the Parliamentary Joint Committee".

A spokesman for Financial Services Minister Bill Shorten had earlier said the government was "aware of the impact of the Trio collapse on investors and is sympathetic to all those affected", including the members of the lobby group. Yesterday, he was not available for comment.

The public meeting at Illawarra Leagues Club starts at 10am.

John Telford. Picture: GREG TOTMAN

John Telford. Picture: GREG TOTMAN


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