The stockbroking business, which is in thehands of administrators, reportedly lost $50 million of clients’ funds, apparently the result of the firm’s clumsy attempts to cover up trading losses incurred as the financial markets started collapsing three years ago.
Slater & Gordon’s move follows approaches from angry Sonray clients whose funds have been frozen by the administrator, the firm said.
Slater & Gordon practice group leader David Andrews, who conducted the Opes Prime class action, attended a creditors meeting on behalf of clients last week.
He described the Sonray operation as “a debacle”.
"This was a backyard operation masquerading as a sophisticated investment platform.
"It appears there were failures at every level, with the company continuing to compound the effects ofunauthorised trading early in 2008 with poor accounting and poor record keeping.
“Now some 4000 account holders face uncertainty over their financial future, with a reported $30 million in funds and shares frozen, and an estimated $46 million shortfall.
“The parallels with Opes Prime are uncanny."
The Australian Securities & Investments Commission, which has recently taken issue with the complexity of the type of products that Sonray promoted, is also taking an interest in the matter.
Meanwhile, national newspaper The Weekend Australian has reported that its own inquiries have revealed “it was most likely stupidity rather than any deliberate misappropriation of funds that led Sonray to its demise”.
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