It is the only deterrence.
I am told that Larry Adler's lad, Rodney, for all his bravado, is afraid to even jay walk lest he end up in the slammer again. And he did soft time for his criminality in the HIH affair.
Those of the banking and advice industry should bear in mind young Adler's fate. I quote from Justice Durnford's remarks on his sentencing in 2005, via wikipedia.
I would be practising my shower etiquette if I had been involved.* two counts of disseminating information on 19 and 20 June 2000 respectively, knowing it was false in a material particular and which was likely to induce the purchase by other persons of shares in HIH contrary to Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) .html s 999 ;
* one count of obtaining money by false or misleading statements, contrary to Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) .html s 178BB ; and
* one count of being intentionally dishonest and failing to discharge his duties as a director of HIH in good faith and in the best interests of that company contrary to Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) s 184(1)(b).
In sentencing Adler, Justice Dunford said:
The offences are serious and display an appalling lack of commercial morality…Directors are not appointed to advance their own interests but to manage the company for the benefit of its shareholders to whom they owe fiduciary duties…They were not stupid errors of judgement but deliberate lies, criminal and in breach of his fiduciary duties to HIH as a director.
If you're referring to your own previous post, doesn't the fact that no one's answered that post tell you that anyone who's reading this thread can't, won't or don't want to answer your initial question?
I for one have no idea who the people you mentioned in that earlier post are. Sorry
Some light reading that may add clarity to jjtebj12's post.
What I mean is these high profile people haven't walked away quietly for no reason. Secret deals! Or am I presuming again? I also wonder why certain media are very quiet.
I believe there are some individual actions and of course there is also ASIC. My understanding is that ASIC and Levitts are working closely but looking at different aspects of the cases due to the nature of what ASIC is actually allowed to do.
As for the rest of it I don't really know.
I remember the article in question! Here's a snippet of 'Plausible Deniability' for those that are interested:
“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves.” Matthew 7:15
They say that in order to appreciate anything fully you need to be there and experience it for yourself. Well, Helen and I are certainly there all right! Up to our eyeballs in the dung heap that Storm Financial and certain banks have created that left their customers broke; in some cases homeless, deep in debt, and many bereft of even the basics to live any type of meaningful existence. Many of these are elderly self-funded retirees that have been left wondering, “What the bloody hell happened?”
My name is VICTOR (Frank) AINSLIE and I will attempt in this book to tell you exactly what happened, what your legal position is, and what you can do about it.
My name tends to confuse people at times because everyone calls me Frank although my name is really, Victor. My father went by the same name and it all became too confusing for everyone, so I quickly became ‘Francis’ which is my second name. Growing up in the east-end of London in the fifties, ‘Francis’ was an unfortunate name to have because of its somewhat sissy undertones so I told everyone my name was ‘Frank It seemed a safer bet at the time because the back streets of London are no place to be either a sissy or precious about one’s name. The name’s stuck ever since.
It’s funny when you think about it, my first name being ‘Victor’ and all because it’s almost spelt the same way as ‘VICTIM’ which is what I and thousands of others have become.
It seems ironic really to think that we, Helen and I, were taken to the cleaners by tricksters because I have always tended to be cautious by nature where money is concerned. I guess this comes from growing up poor and knowing the value of a quid.
To find myself poor once again, after a lifetime struggling to be anything but, feels odd to say the very least. However, I have found that no matter who we are, life always seems to throw us a curved ball from time to time. When it happens, we can either duck or try and knock the cover off it. I prefer to try and do the latter because it’s in my nature.
Turning the other cheek to my way of thinking is bending over and giving someone the ‘Full Monty’ and that’s what I intend to do in this book because the rogues mentioned in it deserve nothing less.
It’s an unfortunate fact that some people that inhabit this world of ours are forever on the prowl for others that can further their needs, be it for power, greed or whatever. The road to their success is always littered with the bodies of their victims.
The word “Victim” among other things means“ one that is tricked or duped!” In this book, I will show you how I and the other people that invested using the services of Storm Financial were tricked and duped by that financial advisory firm and the Banks that acted in partnership with it. I say partnership because Siamese twins would have had problems being closer. Yet, those same banks now claim that they hardly knew Storm Financial even though they had been sleeping together for years.
Helen and I are not alone. We are but two of 14,000 investors that travelled down the same path, or should I say, fell in the same black hole that has now been labelled, “the worst financial disaster in the history of Australia.”
How does one best describe what happened and encapsulate it all in the title of a book? I must admit that I seriously considered calling this book, “FUBAR” which is an acronym that became popular in World War 2 when someone wanted to express their dissatisfaction in strong terms.
It stands for: F*cked up beyond all reason, F*cked up beyond all recognition, and F*cked up beyond all repair. Take your pick! They all seem apt somehow!
Actually, the origins of FUBAR are not known with any certainty but it may well have derived from the German word ‘furchtbar’ which means awful and terrible.
If my words are making you feel faint at this point, try sitting here in this dung heap that these corporate criminals have created for us. It just reeks of corruption!
When Storm’s clients lost $3 billion in savings and assets, it was indeed ‘Fuchtbar’ (AWFUL and TERRIBLE) because so many who lost everything, leaving them completely destitute, were elderly Australians. Make no mistake about the effect it has had on their lives. It has simply destroyed them.
The fact that the majority of them shaped this country and instilled in it a set of values doesn’t mean an iota to this Government or the financial institutions that milked them for profit and abandoned them when everything went pear shaped.
Whilst the world of those Storm investors is now well and truly FUBAR and this would indeed have been a suitable title for this book, it just didn’t quite suit somehow!
I then toyed with the idea of calling it “AUSTRALIAN CONSPIRACY” because this title does describes what happened then and what is still happening now. The alliances certain Banks and Storm formed with one another and the covert agreements they had in place were the prime cause of so many losing so much. These Banks and Storm certainly did plot together to use their clients’ assets for personal gain, and by so doing, they went beyond the bounds of responsible financial advice and prudent banking practice.
In the end though I decided to call it “PLAUSIBLE DENIABILITY” because this seems to best describe the situation that currently exists where the Banks are concerned.
Now, you are probably scratching your heads and wondering what the heck “plausible deniability” means.
“Plausible deniability” for those that are not familiar with this strategy is one where the upper rungs of management in an organisation pass the blame to those on the lower rungs, and the people on the lower rungs are often inaccessible (sacked in the case of the CBA). It, then becomes difficult to establish exactly who is to blame. It’s a ploy often used by those that gave the orders in the first place to distance themselves from any responsibility. In the case that illegal or otherwise disreputable and unpopular activities become public, high-ranking executives will employ this ruse to deny any awareness of such acts by those below them in the chain of command.
The CEO’s of the CBA, the Macquarie Bank and the Bank of Queensland seem to fit the bill perfectly.
The term "plausible deniability" can also apply to any act that leaves little or no evidence of wrongdoing or abuse. On this score, Storm Financial and the Banks involved fall down badly. There’s enough evidence lying around to condemn them all, if only we can get them into a court room.
Unfortunately, parties such as the Parliamentary Joint-Committee and ASIC who have been investigating this matter seem to have trouble focussing on the body of evidence relating to the crimes of the Banks. One has to presume that Storm Financial is easier quarry to hunt down.
Plausible deniability is also a legal concept by the way. It refers to lack of evidence (or so the Banks think) proving an allegation. Standards of proof vary in civil and criminal cases. In civil cases, the standard of proof is "more likely so than not" whereas in a criminal matter, the standard is "beyond a reasonable doubt"
If your opponent lacks incontrovertible proof (evidence) of their allegation, you can "plausibly deny" the allegation even though it may be true.
Well, Bro! Do we have news for you!
Storm Financial and the Banks involved with that company are, of course, the chief perpetrators! However, these financial bodies could only have operated in this way when a culture of “free market” policies was allowed to flourish. Those in authority who failed to identify the wrongdoings of Storm and the Banks until it was all too late are, by default, themselves tacit accomplices. Their inertia now, their lack of foresight then, their dereliction of duty to Australian investors in general, and the elderly in particular who were led to believe that investing was safe, should be roundly condemned by all. By failing to bring the Banks involved to task, they are adding insult to injury.
The facts of the matter are plain enough. Certain major banks in this country formed an unholy alliance with Storm Financial – FACT! Those banks were instrumental in promoting Storm Financial’s shady practices and high risk schemes - FACT! These banks are now endeavouring to COVER-UP their dealings with that advisory firm – FACT!
Why then, we must ask, is this Government and ASIC going soft on these corporate criminals? Can’t they see that these banks are simply shrugging their shoulders and thumbing their nose at this Government and ASIC.
When questioned the banks offer lame excuses, “Not us Mister! We did nothing wrong!” Well, this time, they have been caught with their hands in their customers’ pockets, and they should be made to return what they have stolen. What’s more, they should be punished because that is what one does to those that have broken the law.
This book seeks to expose Storm Financial and the Banks for what they really were, “false prophets and ravenous wolves” that bled their customers dry for financial gain without any regard for the consequences.
"Plausible Deniability - Foreword (Continued)
Since the collapse of Storm Financial, I have been an active poster on the ‘SICAG’ Group and ‘SOB’ (my own discussion Group). SOB by the way is an acronym for “Storming on Banks.” However, as one member of SOB was quick to point out, it could equally stand for “Sick of Bull-****ters! I hope he wasn’t referring to me?
This book is a compilation of my many postings on these Groups, and some of my past correspondence with ASIC, the CBA, the Macquarie Banks, the Bank of Queensland, the Parliamentary Joint Committee, the Government and others expressing points of law, outlining flawed procedures, highlighting criminal acts, pointing out blatant misrepresentation etc. I have also quoted various media articles, and I have echoed comments made by others that emphasise a particular point.
In parts of this book, because of the subject matter, it doesn’t make for avid reading. Points of law for instance for some can be BLOODY BORING! However, it is not meant to be a thriller. If anything, it’s more a horror story! Therefore, I have tried to lighten the mood at times by introducing some humor to the narrative. The subject matter, however, is far from humorous.
I have written this book primarily for the benefit of those that have suffered at the hands of Storm and the banks in order that they can fully understand what has occurred and come to grips with the issues involved. This book is basically designed to inform people about the circumstances that led up to these losses, and to help them readily identify the cause and the wrongdoers.
Many of those that lost money in Storm do not have access to any Group and they must therefore rely on information provided by the media, their solicitors if any, or other information outlets. I hope this book will be helpful for those people. If others find it of interest, so be it.
I have learnt among other things in my life that knowledge is power! Only by knowing what really happened can anyone make an informed judgement about anything. Only by knowing will you be able to fully comprehend what these banks and Storm did and why the banks must now pay.
This book is basically about four villains: Storm Financial, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, the Macquarie Bank, and the Bank of Queensland. This book focuses on these “Four Riders of this Australian Financial Apocalypse.” (Not a bad book title that! - A sequel perhaps!)
However, it should be noted that there were other Banks caught up in the Storm labyrinth, and they must also share some of the blame. They were all like pigs at a trough devouring their customers’ monies greedily.
In this book I have tried not to pervert the facts as many have but rather say it as it is without fear or favour. If, in so doing, I upset a few people, so be it! If I upset a few bankers, great! If I upset anyone that was once part of the Storm Financial hierarchy, I would ask them to put themselves in our place. They’ll never be as upset as we are; the people Storm and the Banks took for a financial ride.
This book will also serve, I hope, to remind those in Government and ASIC of their duty to prosecute the wrongdoers to the full extent of the law. This matter is too important to thousands of elderly Australians to ignore any longer. It has to taken out of the “too hard basket” and something has to be done NOW!
The focus of this book is not on Storm Financial despite its leading role in all this because it is no more. Having said that, the directors of Storm Financial were the architects of this Australian tragedy and I have sought to explain their part in all this as fully as I can.
Someone like Ron Jelich (the former Development Manager for Storm) will be able to tell us what really went on in the Cassimatis Bunker. I’m hoping that he will eventually add his segment to this book, so we can get an idea of the inner workings of the Storm menagerie.
The arch villains that do remain are, of course, the Banks. They always survive because they are protected by the Government of the day, and they are therefore, to all intents and purposes, above the law. They are sacrosanct, so to speak!
Because this state of affairs is allowed to continue infinitum, the Banks ride roughshod over their customers interests, violate their own banking codes of conduct, treat ASIC as fools, have the money to “offset any Storm” and churn money out of all and sundry at every available opportunity. They are completely without scruples of any kind, and they have no shame. Then they have the barefaced effrontery to continually advertise that they are the best because THEY CARE! The only thing they care about is money. Theirs! Not ours!
The truth of the matter is that the individuals in these Banks conspired with Storm Financial to milk their customers for gain, and they did so unlawfully. They should therefore be prosecuted accordingly under the laws laid down to protect consumers. Nothing less is warranted.
As for the head honchos in those Banks, they should resign because they are either inept or corrupt, or both. “We are not responsible! Don’t blame us! We didn’t know what was going on!” Like Hell they didn’t!
President Harry S. Truman had a sign with the inscription “The Buck Stops Here!” sitting on his desk. This was meant to indicate that he didn't “pass the buck” to anyone else, but accepted personal responsibility for the way the country was governed. Maybe some of these Banks’ CEO’s should take a leaf out of his book. Then again they could be telling a few “pork pies” about not knowing, that is! What do you think?
Nah! The Banks would never do that!
I can tell you this! The one thing that these banks fear the most is being prosecuted because the law, at least, provides a level playing field where the influence of vested interests can no longer be exerted. The principles of commercial, statute, and criminal law that apply in a court room will bring these banks down. They know it! The question is, “Are you willing, and for that matter able, to sue these bandits?” If you are, you will need to join the class actions that are currently underway. Numbers are the key!
As for this Government and the regulatory policeman, ASIC, they need the intestinal fortitude to get off their backsides and act. Until then the question must always linger, “Who is actually governing this country?” At the moment it seems that big business in the guise of the Banks and other large commercial interests are, and the Government is merely a puppet that waits for its strings to be pulled.
ASIC has a duty to ascertain who is to blame and prosecute those individuals that have perverted the laws of this country. We, the people that have suffered as a consequence of their actions expect nothing less. Indeed, to do nothing less makes these Governing bodies complicit in their own right.
There is a self-evident truth!
“When good men do nothing, they are no longer good. Many have the mistaken notion that good is merely the absence of doing that, which is wrong. Not so! One is good not merely because he does no evil, but because he is actively working for what is good.”
At the moment, to the people that are still waiting for something to be done, it seems that everything is “FUBAR!”
As you say, "It's all very complicated!" Even the lawyers will have problems getting their heads around this one because there are so many aspects to consider. Furthermore, certain evidence will only come to light when these matters are considered in Court. My comments must therefore be prefaced based on what we know now - not on what will be presented in due course.
As for "Plausible Deniability" I wrote it for the people that suffered at the hands of Storm and the Banks, and anyone else that is interested in what occurred. It's in PDF format and can be downloaded free of charge at: https://sites.google.com/site/stormi...me/our-company
What many fail to understand is that 'TIME' more than anything else works against us because the majority of us are elderly and the years that have been lost can never be regained. The Banks know this and will therefore drag it out for all that it is worth! In so doing they will aim to break our resolve. Indeed, many have already found the journey just too damn hard.
Personally, I'd rather blow the bastards up but Helen reckons that's a bit over the top! I might write a fiction novel when this is all finished about someone caught up in a saga like this that decides to take the law into his own hands. A vicarious experience is better than no experience at all!
Let's hope someone doesn't get any ideas from what I have said because I'll then be the number one suspect! Free board and lodgings for the next ten years. Now there's a thought!
As an interested Townsville local I have been watching this thread from GG’s initial post in ‘08 after Bulletin articles about Storm’s demise. I recently had a chat to a relative who I knew had visited Storm Financial in the early days before they moved to their salubrious cluster of buildings in the cutting, interested in why she was one of the (70%?) who walked away. Storm was recommended by a number of her friends and work associates, and she knows many personally who were with Storm. The planner she and her husband met with spent the majority of the meeting getting her to list all of her properties, how much was owed on each and what rental returns she was getting. He asked her to also list all of her (adult) children and other close relatives and their addresses. When he had a page listing her property assets which were quite substantial, having owned a successful small business and having invested in property over the last 40 years, he drew a line through the list and said that (in her words) ‘The first thing we will do is get rid of all of this and start making you some real money.’ She was quite astounded at his arrogance and didn’t read the very extensive documentation he sent them away with. Luckily she didn’t have to pay for the advice as apparently at the time initial financial planning meetings were free for the first 2 hours.
She also had some interesting insights into the cult like following Manny aroused in some Storm investors. When she tried to advise a friend (the lady across the road!) to warn her to get her money out when the stock market was falling rapidly she got a very angry and negative response, the woman demanded to know who was saying Storm investments were not safe and that she would ring Manny! Manny stated at a meeting that he called when even ‘loyal investors’ were getting worried (about 400 went), that ‘The shops would be empty and the banks would crumble before Storm Financial went down’, and she, along with some others, believed him. Very Messiah like.
Incidentally, the woman she warned had refused to sell or re-mortgage her home, so she still has it, though she did lose 90 thousand dollars.
Last edited by Clovie; 17th-March-2012 at 05:12 AM.