I am so hoping you can help in getting back at least some of the money which was all of our savings, the proceeds of the sale of our house and any other bits of money we had gathered together. You know after educating 2 children through university to give them more chances in life than we had, this is such a bitter blow to deal with. I know people should have more say in their investments but when you don’t have enough knowledge to do so and place everything with an educated man to help you with decisions it makes us very wary of any money situation we have to now deal with.
This dealer [Name Withheld] from [Location Withheld] at the time. So I wish you all the best with your battle on our behalf and would be only to pleased to pay you if you are successful in getting back 75% as you are hoping for. Good Luck. I like the letters you wrote and did forward them on so will wait and see what happens. J&BB

take-care-debt

When I was 18 i got my first job while studying at The University of Adelaide. I worked hard to contribute towards my university fees and to save some money to invest as a deposit for the house I wanted to buy one day. One day I heard about the Prime Property Trust and the high monthly dividends it was paying. I decided to invest and bought $10,000 worth of units. For three years I drew decent dividend payments on a monthly basis, then watched my investment disintegrate following floatation. It has been devastating to see my first savings disappear and this has made my quest to own property that bit harder. DS

empty wallet

Re detrimental impact this has had on our retirement finances. I realise our
loss was very small compared to others, We would be classed as mum & dad
investors, all investing is a bit of a punt, but being advised by a financial
advisor ,who was convinced this was a legitimate company, only to have it fall over from the day it went public smacks of a setup that was designed to fail for the investors, but a spectacular windfall for the R.E. which in plain terms is outright robbery of all who invested in Prime trust.

As far as we are concerned this money was to go towards upgrading our car or towards an overseas trip. At 75 it takes some time to get back to square one. R&BM

I have been particularly distressed by the failure of Prime Life Trust. I have not had to sell up my home but I had over $7000 invested in the company and this as a single, older person (I am aged 62) is a considerable amount of money.
I believed in the product. I, as an older person am aware of the need of our country to provide suitable accommodation for older people and here was an opportunity for me to invest in something that was needed.
If I have another opportunity which considering how much money I have lost, will probably not happen I would never consider such a project. JH

After two divorces, and related financial loss, I am 58 and live alone in suburban Mooroolbark Victoria.
 
In 2004 I mentioned to my Financial Advisor that I had a desire or dream to purchase a house or unit in a quiet coastal village, and one day retire there.
 
My Financial Advisors strategy was :-

• that I borrow 100% of the purchase price
• that I rent out the property, which would finance part of the monthly loan interest payments
• that I invest in Prime Trust, which paid dividends to finance the remaining part of the monthly loan interest payments
• that I could retain the principle monies invested in Prime Trust, rather than pay that money off the mortgage
• that when I am ready to retire I could sell my house, pay off the mortgage, and move into my dream retirement unit on the coast
 
The plan got underway in 2004 when I purchased an initial 50,000 units @ $1 per unit = $50,000 in Prime Trust.
 
In 2005, after much coastal searching, I purchased a modest townhouse in Yamba NSW, for $210,000 and borrowed 100% of the purchase price. As I was not earning enough (around $20,000 per annum) to qualify for a normal bank loan, my Financial Advisor and his recommended Mortgage Broker, suggested I take out an interest only, no-doc loan with Macquarie Bank. This required me to mortgage my residential home in Mooroolbark Vic.

As the loan interest went from 7.55% in 2005, up to 10.35% in 2008, I was advised to increase my unit share in Prime Trust, to meet the increasing monthly balance of loan interest. So I purchased an additional 30,000 units @ $1 per unit = $30,000 in 2005, and then a further 40,000 units @ $1 per unit = $40,000 in 2007, taking my holdings up to 120,000 units totalling $120,000 at that stage.

In early 2007 my financial advisor told me that with my low cost modest lifestyle, I could commence transition to retirement, if I so wished. So at the end of 2007, I retired, believing I was in a reasonably comfortable financial position. However when the Owners Corporate fees on the Yamba property were increased to $100 per week to boost the Sinking Fund, and then when Prime Trust stopped paying dividends in 2008, due I am now told to [Name Withheld] virtually stealing millions of $ from the Trust, I could no longer meet the loan interest payments, and had no choice but to sell the Yamba townhouse and pay out the mortgage.
 
As we all know, after the The Prime Trust was floated on the Stock Exchange, the unit price dropped from $1 per unit to around $0.04 cents per unit in a very short time. In the hope that the unit price would at some stage recover it's value, I was advised to purchase more units whilst at their depressed rate, so in 2008 I purchased a further 80,000 units at $0.088 per unit = $7,040.
 
So my total investment in Prime Trust and total loss if I am not re-imbursed, is $127,040. This does not take into account the additional loss due to nil interest received since the fund stopped paying dividends in 2008. All the dividends that were paid went to Macquarie Bank to cover part of my monthly loan interest payments.
 
I am currently in retirement on a super pension of $19,000 per annum, I hold a low income Health Care Card, I cannot afford to travel or do anything in retirement other than exist. My life is virtually on hold in Mooroolbark, waiting in hope to get my money back from Prime Trust. The dream has gone. SM

piggy empty
greed

As a Prime Trust investor, I am disappointed that the Role of ASIC has again failed. ASIC seems happy to accept fees to provide approvals for these types of schemes, but takes no heed of warnings from dealer groups or investors until it is too late.
I followed the normal checks and took precautions to diversify as I was then approaching retirement. I was working part-time when I invested in Prime Trust and 3 other property trusts. Most of the money came out of my mortgage account and the proceeds were to pay for the mortgage payments.
The collapse associated with the Global Financial Crisis left me with more than half of the investment money still owing on my mortgage. Payments from the investments were frozen, reduced or lost. This took away a substantial part of my retirement income stream. Instead of being comfortable in retirement, I am only just able to cover the mortgage payments by selling off collectables. The fact that I have been misled by those in control of Prime Trust makes me angry, as they appear to be cheating the system at investor’s expense, having worked very hard to achieve a comfortable position, only to be cheated in this way.
The product disclosure statements were spectacular in what they left out, particularly with the amount of debt, and debt to equity ratios and the relation of those ratios to risk exposure. Where were the watchdogs?
I feel that it is important to bring them to account. I sincerely hope that you are successful in this endeavour. MH

We invested $85,000 into the ‘Prime Trust’.
‘Prime Trust’ was aged care investment, it never entered our minds that aged care would collapse, we will always have the ‘elderly’ and they will always have needs.
We are older parents (ages 48 and 50) with two young children (ages 5 and 10). We both work fulltime so that we can provide a stable future for our children.
Our dreams of an early retirement, providing financial stability for our children, renovations to our existing home, slowing down and spending quality time with our family have been shattered.
We are now in ‘debt’ with an unclear outcome!
With the collapse of the ‘Prime Trust’ fund, we now face these issues -
• Investment into ‘Prime Trust’ - we are now in debt of $85,000 with no return.
• Total debt - the ‘Prime Trust’ debt of $85,000 combined with our existing mortgage and car loan now places us with a total debt of $345,000. Managing this debt is very difficult, and we are unsure whether it will be cleared by the time we retire.
• Family - we have two young children, financially this affects them, with their schooling, general needs and their future dreams.
• Retirement - as a mother I did plan to retire early, so I could be more involved in my children’s schooling, this is now no longer an option.
• Health – this has been very stressful on both my husband and I. We think about and discuss our debt situation weekly.
• House renovations – this is now just a dream, we cannot afford any further debt.
We are very grateful for all of the work that the ‘Prime Action Group’ are undertaking. We are willing to support the group in any way that we can. K&TF

Despite the fact that I am an extremely small player in this game, my original investment of $50,000 (=50,000 units) represented my entire life savings. This was to have been a deposit on a house at last, after countless years of renting.
 
Perhaps I should have questioned the initial excellent distribution rate of 10% as being "too good to be true", but many of us small time investors are naive about such things, especially when being guided by (so-called) financial advisors.
 
The discovery that all those years of working and saving now count for nothing has left me, at age 68, shell-shocked to say the least. I now find myself having to live with my ageing father, just to be able to afford a roof over my head. The future looks fairly bleak from where I'm sitting-thank heavens we at least have a pension scheme in this country.
 
I hope this brief account will lend some more weight of evidence to the action group's case. I really appreciate you going in to bat for us here- someone has to take a stand against these corporate criminals.. Thanks for your efforts on our behalf. LW

It is with regret that we now find our circumstances have changed dramaticaly in the last two years; to list a few is we imagine the same as many investors who put their trust in supposedly, people who had the welfare of the older generation in mind.
 
We will have to downsize our three bedroomed home for a start. We have not had a holiday for the past three years.
 
In March when the bills arrived, we had $108 in the bank. Our weekly income for two dropped from $1300 to $730, this included pensions.
 
We also invested in Westpoint, which as we are sure you already know, also cheated their investors. After four years of fighting for our rights though the courts, we were lucky to get a little back, but it took it`s toll. We both feel we could not go through years of trauma, having to stand up in court, and being crossexamined by a hostile Barrister, to try and prove you are telling the truth, this for some one who has never been in such a distressing situation before, and always been a lawabiding citizen, this is neither fare or just.
 
These people who seem to have no regard, or intention of keeping their word, seem to come out of the situation with their pockets, well and truly lined.
 
We do not sleep well now and get very depressed, wondering what to do or where we should go; this is not a situation 70year olds or anyone else should be put through.
 
Please do not hesitate to contact us, as something should be done to protect innocent, and unfortunately, trusting people. J&GA

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