April 1, 2024

Brisbane-based Sherwin’s companies, which included property businesses, all failed by early 2013 in a thatch-work of cross deals.

The collapses devastated clients, including a retiree whose superannuation was set back so far he returned to work as a security guard. Another said he lost $1.8 million, representing almost 45 years of work.

Ponzi schemer paroled

Sherwin was eventually jailed for 10 years in 2017 after pleading guilty to fraud, with a statement of facts admitting signatures of clients with self-managed superannuation funds in loan deals were forged. The Financial Review, however, can further reveal he has been paroled, becoming eligible in September 2021.

Sherwin’s clients were further devastated by property deals that involved them as buyers, sellers or financiers.

One woman, a client of Sherwin’s who had sought investments in blue-chip shares such as Telstra, said her self-managed superannuation fund instead had somehow lent hundreds of thousands of dollars to another client of Sherwin’s for a property purchase.

The loan transaction had been handled for her SMSF and the fund of the other Sherwin client by Gadens, an 880-strong association of independent firms across Australia that boasts of “providing an outstanding client experience”. But she maintained she was never contacted by Gadens about the deal. Other Sherwin victims have similar stories.

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