Hundreds of former investors in the failed property investment group, Australian Capital Reserve (ACR) could recover some of their losses with the announcement today that leading class action law firm Slater and Gordon plans to launch a class action against ACR’s trustees.
ACR collapsed in 2007 leaving some 7,000 investors owed more than $330 million. Investors have until May 28 before their rights to recover losses through the Courts expires.
Slater and Gordon Practice Group Leader, Ben Whitwell, said the firm had been approached by dozens of people who invested in ACR.
“We have been investigating the collapse for some time and particularly the conduct of ACR’s trustee, The Trust Company (Nominees) Limited,” Mr Whitwell said.
“We will argue that ACR’s trustee ultimately failed to safeguard the interests of investors or exercise reasonable diligence, which placed at risk the investments of thousands of mum and dad investors.
“We will allege the trustee’s actions, which included failing to ascertain whether ACR had sufficient property to repay the amounts investors lent to it when they became due, eventually lead to the collapse of ACR.
“The collapse of ACR meant the loss of income and retirement nest eggs for many retirees and other small investors.
“To date those investors have only been able to recover around 50 per cent of the money they lost, we will be attempting to secure the rest of what they’re owed.”
Slater and Gordon is encouraging investors who lost money as a result of ACR’s collapse to contact the firm.
Peter Miller, an ACR investor who lost more than $300,000, has lead a victims’ action group since the collapse and said he hoped that legal action would bring an end to years of heartache for thousands of investors.
“Before investing I had recently sold my house, paid out the mortgage and decided to put the rest into a nine month ACR investment to grow for a while. Three weeks later it was gone,” Mr Miller said.
“I did my research just like everyone else and was satisfied that the trustee would provide an additional layer of protection to my investment. I feel let down by the whole process and I hope legal action can recover some of the funds.”
The ACR class action is funded by Argentum. Slater and Gordon has previously acted for investors of Fincorp and Westpoint.