There is no good news for investors who lost money through Trio Capital, with senior staff from the corporate watchdog revealing on Friday they still do not have enough evidence to charge the man behind one of Australia’s biggest superannuation scams.
However, investigations into Trio continue, and the chairman of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, Greg Medcraft, gave politicians a confidential briefing about Trio following a parliamentary joint committee on corporations and financial services hearing in Sydney.
Mr Medcraft did criticise Trio Capital investor advocate Paul Matters, who claims ASIC leaked information to Trio directors.
‘‘Mr Matters said on ABC radio and on YouTube that he had been leaked a Trio Capital bank statement showing $74 million had been lost immediately after ASIC became involved in the investigation. This is completely incorrect. The funds were distributed by the administrator to a number of subsidiary Trio super funds,’’ Mr Medcraft said.
‘‘ASIC officers are not in the business of leaking documents and this is a serious smear on the men and women who work at our organisation. Mr Matters should substantiate this allegation.’’
Mr Medcraft said ASIC was still investigating Trio with the help of the Australian Crime Commission and Australian Federal Police. However, last year it had insufficient evidence to charge the man considered the mastermind behind Trio, Jack Flader.
Investors lost more than $100 million when Trio Capital moved money overseas using a network of offshore funds. ASIC does not believe that another director, Paul Gresham (previously known as Tony Maher), who was recently questioned in a liquidator’s examination, has any assets in Australia or overseas that could be returned to shareholders.
Mr Medcraft also confirmed the commission has met environmental activist Jonathan Moylan, who in January pulled a hoax on Whitehaven Coal. The company’s share price tumbled after Mr Moylan issued a fake press release titled: ‘‘ANZ divests from Maules Creek Project’’, which suggested the bank had pulled funding and the company’s mining project would not proceed.
‘‘We have formally engaged with Mr Jonathan Moylan from the Front Line Action on Coal and our investigation is continuing,’’ Mr Medcraft told the committee.
On Monday, ASIC expects to release two reports on high frequency trading and dark liquidity pools. The reports will reveal whether ASIC wants to introduce new rules or reform existing laws.