So what’s become of the shareholders?

As I first reported in December a number of Firepower shareholders are having their claims of being ripped off quietly settled by the financial institutions that own one of the financial advisory firms that sold the dud investment. Some people are being offered up to 35 cents in the dollar as compensation and many are grateful to settle. But the shares sold through these brokers represent only about 10 per cent of what Firepower raised. The overall figure is more like $100 million when you consider the various strands of raising that went on – not all of which went to Tim Johnston, it should be stated, and some of which might be double-counted.

Others though have not been so lucky. They have made cases to various authorities, including ASIC and the Financial Services Ombudsman, and waiting for an outcome is like watching paint dry. In the meantime one of the other firms selling the shares has gone into liquidation, thus preventing authorities from imposing any penalties. The only hope for a majority of people appears to be the class action that is progressing with pace by the litigation funder IMF Australia.

The Federal Court action against those involved with Firepower is proceeding slowly. There are enough documents filed to fill a second book but the matter is still a long way from trial and there is yet no sign of Tim Johnston wanting to come back to Australia.

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