Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) is considering legal action
the auditor of collapsed property empire Westpoint, as part of an effort to
recover more than $A300m (?132m) in compensation for what could be up to 4300
investors – the regulator’s biggest claim of its kind to date.
ASIC will launch federal court action before Christmas, seeking money from
five Westpoint associates, including founder Norm Carey, and five financial
planning companies which sold Westpoint products to investors.
Tony D’Aloisio, ASIC Chairman, said yesterday the regulator would investigate
further compensation options for Westpoint investors, including any possible
claims against Westpoint’s auditor, KPMG.
A KPMG spokeswoman told Melbourne newspaper The Age the firm would
continue to ‘co-operate fully with the ASIC investigation’. ‘We stand by the
quality and veracity of our work,’ she said.
Westpoint promoted investments in a number of property development projects,
including 10 projects using unsecured mezzanine finance. It was the first of
several companies to collapse, causing the loss of hundreds of million of
dollars for investors.
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