Notorious property promoter Henry Kaye has emerged as a key figure in the
collapse of the Westpoint property group, says today’s Eureka Report.

The property spruiker, currently before the courts facing a charge of
dishonestly obtaining a financial advantage by deception, played a pivotal role
in linking property investors with the Westpoint scheme which is now expected to
cost investors more than $450 million.

The story, by Alan Kohler, reveals a raft of developments in the Westpoint case
that could lead to a long awaited review of Australia’s financial planning

  • Melbourne law firm Slater and Gordon in conjunction with Perth-Based
    litigation funding group, IMF Australia, is said to be planning to launch a
    class action against 120 financial planners as early as next week.
  • The peak body of financial planners, The Financial Planning Association of
    Australia, has revealed that five of its members are under investigation in
    relation to the Westpoint scandal.
  • Westpoint targeted new immigrants in Sydney’s Chinese community circulating
    special brochures in Mandarin which made outrageous claims relating to
    Westpoint’s expected returns.

  • Among the victims of the collapse that face losing the bulk of their life
    savings is a cancer victim, a retiree and a pregnant mother of four.

According to Kohler: “In 35 years of finance journalism I have never come
across a story that has affected me so deeply. The Westpoint collapse is worse than the $5 billion collapse of HIH
Insurance because of the greed and deception of financial planners.

Meanwhile, the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court has adjourned the Kaye case –
which could result in up to 10 years’ jail for the property promoter – until 5 May.

The full Westpoint story will be available later this afternoon on Eureka

Peter Fray

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Editor-in-chief of Crikey