The Australian Workers Union (AWU) had direct links at the “highest level” with the Trio Capital scheme, which explains why two family businesses were targeted out of the many advisers who placed their clients into the scheme, a victims groups has claimed.
The Victims of Financial Fraud (VOFF) have written an open letter to incoming Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) chairman, James Shipton, in which the group argued the AWU’s links to the scheme explained the “absurdity” of attacking two businesses out of the 155 financial advisers who had placed their clients into the Trio scheme.
“Vigorously attacking the family business that had recommended Trio to the AWU is more suggestive of outright retribution against an individual rather than addressing a serious crime against 6,090 clients,” VOFF said.
“With no transparency about how the Trio money disappeared, the [former] Minister for Superannuation, Mr [Bill] Shorten was able to turn communities against each other by blaming financial advice while ignoring the systemic failure of the Australian financial system.”
The group also claimed that with no accurate account of the fraud, Shorten exhibited union bias where union-run superannuation funds received compensation while the non-union funds were “accused of losing their own money” for placing it into “troubled” funds.
There was no transparency into ASIC’s actions around Trio, and what ASIC did remains “a massive cover up”, the group said, adding if Shorten’s connection with the AWU/Trio matter had been revealed, it would have been difficult to devise events to create a diversion.
“Both sides of Australian government have accepted the findings of a flawed investigation/inquiry into the collapse of Trio, thus allowing the public to be misinformed, flawed on the basis of ASIC withholding vital evidence and creating an unconscionable diversion,” VOFF said.
The group called on the Australian Federal Police to conduct a thorough investigation into the Trio fraud with the same “scientific accuracy” that was applied to the Plutus Payroll and the AUSTRAC v. Commonwealth Bank cases.