10/12/2008 - 17:07

Opes Prime victims face new threat

10/12/2008 - 17:07

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Victims of the Opes Prime fallout have received letters from receivers Deloitte, demanding payment of past bills or potentially face legal action.

Victims of the Opes Prime fallout have received letters from receivers Deloitte, demanding payment of past bills or potentially face legal action.

In a statement by legal firm Slater & Gordon, former clients of the failed stockbroker are being asked to make the payments by ANZ appointed receiver Deloitte just before Christmas.

"The letters demand payment (in some cases of millions of dollars) or threaten legal actions," Slater & Gordon said.

"They have not been explicit about the consequences of failure to pay but the implied threat of legal action is clear."

Slater & Gordon has launched a class action in the Federal Court on behalf of more than 50 Australian and international investors.

"The Receivers action is clearly premature for those who have taken action against ANZ seeking declarations that the agreements are void," the law firm said.

"Slater & Gordon believe those who are members of the class action will have a clear basis for arguing that any legal proceedings that may eventually be taken by Deloitte on behalf of ANZ should be stayed (stopped) until the determination of the call action."

Opes Prime's secured debt is believed to be more than $1 billion, with its major secured creditors including the ANZ (owed around $650 million), and Merrill Lynch.

Receivers and managers were appointed to the Opes Prime Group, Opes Prime Stockbroking, Leveraged Capital and Hawkswood Investments on March 27 after cash and stock movement irregularities were uncovered in some of the client accounts of Opes Prime Stockbroking.

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