The deadline looms at the end of business today for those investors embroiled in the ING/ANZ fraud where some investors were duped into buying into highly risky funds after being told by their teller at ANZ, their investment advisers or ING directly that they were getting low risk investments, to accept on offer from ING/ANZ of 60c in the dollar in return for their silence.
Methinks that most investors would have signed up for this as many are elderly and/or ignorant of other alternatives. Once these people have accepted ING/ANZ's measly offer they could be signing away their rights to take action against those that are culpable, for ANZ/ING has required them to sign a waiver against action of any kind, or even speaking about it, if they accept their offer.
Having said that, given that individuals are signing under a form of duress then any legal rights they may have waived by signing could be argued against in a court by a multi-party action.
I argued other alternatives a month or so back but acceptance of the offer that closes at 5.00pm today could be a good bet given that the Fair Trading Act and Consumer Guarantees Act are strong laws that can be used to trump any flimsy legal waivers signed under force or some form of duress, as is the case here.
Since my last column on this subject I have become aware of two other distant friends who have respectively lost NZ$ 800,000.00 and $2 million dollars in this scam.
Timetable for ING/ANZ investors
* Investors have until Monday, July 13, 5.00pm to decide on ING's proposal.
* Investors who went through the ANZ Bank have until July 31 to make a formal complaint.
* Investors who accept the offer should gain access to their money by August 28.
* Those who don't accept the offer will continue to own units in the funds.
* Investigations by the Commerce Commission are ongoing but won't be completed by the decision deadline.
* Complaints have also been made to the Securities Commission asking it to delay the offer until the Commerce Commission has ruled but the commission said yesterday it had no ability to stop the offer going ahead because the offer is not misleading or deceptive.
Timetable from NZ Herald
ING/ANZ scam @ Share Investor
Citizens Advice Bureau
Fair Trading Act
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