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What has the collapse of Prime Trust meant to Unitholders? Part One

Many unitholders have written to us describing the impact that the collapse of Prime Trust has had on them. The following is a compilation of just a few of the many emails we have received on this topic. We will be supplementing these experiences with others in the near future

stressed

Hi I am just letting you know that I have to sell my family home as I cannot afford to live here any longer when my husband passed away he thought I at least had a little money to see me through . I just hope someone can help thanks. LL

This investment, in Prime, has been 30% of my Self managed Super fund. I have worked 12 hours a day, for 13 years to gain as much Super as I could and now this huge amount, $100K, seems to have just been wiped from my retirement fund. As a single mother, to manage a small business, while raising and educating children at the same time, this loss is an enormous burden to me not only financially, but also physiologically.
It will mean that I must continue to struggle for at least the next 10 years to try to rebuild this loss. At 58 years of age, this is extremely depressing. All I can say is, at least I still have the roof over my head, but I must pray to God that I do not get ill, as then I could only see myself reverse mortgaging the house, and dwindling the financial security of not only myself, but also the future for my children, that I have worked so hard to secure. GL

[Name Withheld] invested in Prime on the advice of our Financial Advisor when her husband was suffering from Motor Neurone Disease with the view that the trust would secure a future income for her whilst she was caring for him. Her husband has since passed away and [Name Withheld] has recently made the difficult choice to sell her rental unit in order to obtain a small income for herself as Prime cannot provide this. She has lost her life savings.
 
[Name withheld] works only part time having returned to the workforce as a 59 year old after 6 years of caring for her late husband. She has been forced to take low paying roles as she herself left school at 15 and did not complete any further education.
 
The impact on this one person and the associated stress during a horrible time for her is heart-breaking.
 
Please include her situation in the many to be collated for parliament. JS

Firstly congratulations on your efforts to date in marshalling unitholders together into a determined and united group seeking justice from those inhumane individuals who have run Prime Trust into the ground for their own self serving gratification and profit.
My wife and I worked long and hard all our life and in anticipation of being able to fund our own retirement, invested extensively in Prime Trust. We are the owners of over 350,000 shares, now apparently worth next to, if not nothing.
At our age (I am 69 and my wife 63) we are devastated to lose our future. This has had a serious effect on us and forced us into whatever work we can find to try and keep ourselves together and retain our home.
In spite of suffering from serious back issues my wife works as a shop assistant, while I try and mow lawns (at 69 I am finding this just about beyond me).
This great loss is really affecting our health, with the worry and hard work we find ourselves confronted by. I find myself now with heart problems and also with the onset of prostate cancer. It just is so unfair when as decent hard working aussies we find ourselves confronted with the unmitigated bastardry of the principals of the scams which see us confronted with losing so much of what we worked for. Our only hope is that through the unrelenting efforts of yourselves, some justice will prevail and something saved from the wreck.
Thanking you so much for your efforts to date. B & D

As a shareholder in Prime Trust, the collapse, for the want of a better word, has had an enormous effect on my family and myself, both financially and mentally.
This investment compromised a third of my superannuation. This was going to support my family in the retirement that was scheduled for 2013.
Now, no longer an option.
This along with another property investment the Taxation Department reclassified my Taxation position, thus incurring a massive GST debt and subsequent sale of the property and massive loss, could not have come at a worse time.
As the debts accumulate I have had to sell a property in Dromana that I have had since 1972, to make ends meet. I have had to return to the workforce to keep my head above water and pay my debts but I am sinking day by day.
My retirement is not even an option that I can look forward to anywhere in the future. The concerns for my wife are, that if anything were to happen to me she would have to sell our family home (that I have lived in all my life) to be able to live.
Nowhere is the planned superannuation!
Where we have not had to sell our home to date, like unfortunately some others have had to, this is still a threat that is over our heads from one day to the next.
I support the great work the PTAG are doing and will assist in any way to bring justice to the individual/s concerned. JM

In 2004 my husband and I went to a financial advisor to set our retirement plans in place for our 60th birthdays in 2008. Our advisor convinced us not to go with property as we had planned but he had better options and after much discussion and many meetings we invested in two of his suggested plans, one being Great Southern and the other Prime Retirement.
Things started out fine then in December 2004 I was diagnosed with breast cancer for which I had surgery and follow up treatment which was successful. Then in December 2007 my husband was diagnosed with Melanoma which very quickly ravaged his body and he passed away on April 1 2008.
As if this was not enough to cope with, then came the collapse of the market and I lost our entire shares in Great Southern’s demise followed by the collapse of Prime Retirement.
To say I am bitter is mild, we worked, scrimped and saved to raise our children and our reward was to be our retirement and go around Australia. These dreams will never be realised now, and it makes me so angry to think some fat cats have has sucked us dry and most probably have everything in their wives or children’s names so even if they get caught, they will be like Alan Bond and laugh all the way to the bank with everyone else’s money.
My pay goes into the bank and NEVER will I trust anything or anyone else.
I am sure there are a lot of people much worse off than myself, but my pain is my pain and Prime Retirement stole $70,000 from me that I have no way of replacing at my age. BW

We purchased $44,000.00 dollars worth of units in 2005, this money was part of our net egg for our retirement,we were promised a return of 10% payable every quarter,and that these were quite safe and could be easily transferred back into cash,we received our regular payments for about 18 months then they stopped,the directors in there wisdom decided to have the company listed on the stock exchange, the start of the end it just kept on going down and we couldn't understand why, we were told that the asset to dollar ratio was above a dollar then that also changed,but still we were consoled and told all is well, but it wasn't was it, we look like losing it all this along with other ill advised investments e.g. great southern plantations has now forced me to seek government assistance re centrelink to afford to live, my wife is on the pension now and I'm on centrelink payments and now have to work a minimum of 30 hours per fortnight and earn approx $450 per fortnight to qualify or I have to find other employment or do community work. my health has retreated significantly since, I have,G.O.R.D. , C.O.P.D. sleep apnoea, Reflux laryngopharyngitis,and also suffer from neuropathy peripheral my wife health is also on the decline this event has caused us great stress we constantly have anxiety attacks wondering what is going to happen to us when we finally retire are we going to struggle for our existence till the end, these unscrupulous mongrels have a lot to answer for. D & M

I borrowed $100,000.00 and invested in Primetrust on advice from my Financial Advisor mortgaging my house. Now I have a debt that I have to service with no returns which is a huge burden and I am struggling as many others are. There goes my pension that I was working towards. I am having sleepless nights/nightmares and anxieties as how I am going to pay my loan off
I do appreciate all that you guys are doing for all the unit holders and wish you every success and God’s richest blessings and guidance. DC

bankrupt-400x2661

My husband has had to retire due to ill health. The only way we could afford to even consider this was to downsize our family home.
We have gone from quiet acres overlooking rolling hills and wonderful views to living in town with a tiny yard and extremely noisy traffic – not the retirement we had envisaged. M

I was retired but when Prime Trust imploded I had to return to work (for the foreseeable future). If Prime Trust had not imploded i would be comfortable, and enjoying my elder years instead of getting up at 5 each morning and returning home at 7 at night. The impact on me and my family has been significant, S

This Prime Trust implosion is the third one in which we have lost a total of $34,000 over the three.
Two of @12,000 each by North Eastern Securities Unit Trust and Aust Wide Securities Unit Trust.
Here now is Prime Trust of $10,000 of our funds invested which may be lost.
I am 91 years of age and my wife approaching 90. We are both on the full Pension and now only have left a couple of small investments for monthly income.
We need this $10,000 to have monthly income or convert into our bank account to help with the increasing cost of living in so many areas now.
 How do Auditors and Boards of Trusts not see where their organisation is heading so that appropriate action can be taken to prevent disaster?. RC

Like many of you had invested money for me it was the first time, whilst I’m not that experienced in investments, I had consulted a friend who was a financial advisor whom I trusted, all was great at the start until all off a sudden my quarterly returns ceased. To my shock I then found out that my money had been invested via the stock exchange which, I really did not want to happen as I have no knowledge of how it all works. I was even more devastated when I found out that my $20,000 that my mother had left me was lost never to be seen. I am sure that my mother never ever expected me to lose my share of the heritance. As a first time investor I will never been as foolish as this again, I thought I had taken all precaution so that this never happened, hopefully we as investors with the same plight can have some success at getting out investments back, or justice served. CV

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