As the ASIC investigation dragged on until 2023, Ridgway texted Kerrilyn in February encouraging her to mislead authorities. In one of the many texts obtained by the Herald And The age, he tells her, “You don’t have to lie, you just have to say I don’t know and be vague and confuse them. You’re a smart girl.”
It is unclear whether Ridgway, who worked in Shaw and Partners’ Brisbane office, took advantage of forged documents.
The new details in the Ridgway case could be revealed as ASIC faces a parliamentary inquiry into long-standing concerns that it is a slow, timid and ineffective regulator.
Liberal Senator Andrew Bragg, who led the investigation, said ASIC was too slow to respond to warnings and had not secured enough prosecutions.
Ridgway’s illicit trading came to light in January 2022 when a client complained to Shaw and Partners’ headquarters about an investment he had signed up for that had failed to deliver on his promises. It raised red flags because the product was not on the group’s list of approved products.
An internal investigation found that over an eight-year period, Ridgway had systematically violated compliance rules outside of Shaw and Partners’ systems, including trading unauthorized products and taking secret commissions of up to 17 percent, well above the usual commission of 0 .05 percent. percent and 1 percent. The commissions were paid directly to Ridgway. All told, he collected undisclosed commissions of more than $1.5 million, which were not disclosed to Shaw and Partners or the clients, according to bank deposit confirmations and internal documents.
The unauthorized products include Trinus Impact Capital, a Marshall Islands company, ASAF Critical Metals, a British Columbia company, and British Virgin Islands-based Steppes Alternative Asset Management, which claims to have nearly $4 billion in assets under management. It was last checked in 2018.
Ridgway introduced more than 90 families to financial services company McFaddens Securities, which then put them into the unlisted products.
Shaw and Partners said in a statement that it planned to rehabilitate the families who had been put into these products. The recovery costs are estimated to be $9 million and the company said it was pleased the process was well underway.
Shaw and Partners chief executive officer Earl Evans said the scandal had devastating consequences for clients. He said: “They were unsuspecting of Ridgway’s conduct and a year after his firing we would like to think that the regulator will crack down on this individual and shed more light on these questionable products.”
Ridgway was fired in February 2022, and days later, he left his wife and three children, leaving them with a $40,000 credit card bill and rent they couldn’t afford.
A year later, Kerrilyn is still struggling with the emotional and financial deception. “On Monday it will be one year since he left someone he gave his whole life to. I was a sitting duck he kept in the dark,” she said.
“I am heartbroken and the kids are heartbroken. We feel like he’s thrown us in the trash while he’s surfing, taking women to French restaurants, and we’re not even supposed to know where he lives.’
Company records list Kerrilyn as a director for short periods, while other records list her as a long-term director with other directors she said she never had anything to do with. She said there were also minutes with her signature relating to meetings she said she never attended.
Kerrilyn told the Herald And The age it was confronting to see so many documents with her forged signature.
One was a loan agreement between Ridgy Enterprises and KKR Holdings as a trustee for Ridgway Family Trust. It contains her signature, which she says she did not sign. Another is a deed of debt assignment and release, which contains her signature and her mother’s witness signature, both of which she says are forged. “It’s not my signature or my mother’s,” she said. “I know what my mother’s signature looks like and my mother has been cared for to a high standard for many years.”
She said she met Ridgway 35 years ago when she was 18. She said she was never involved in his business affairs. “He left us in a bad position financially and emotionally,” she said.
She declined to comment on a series of text messages obtained between her and Ridgway by this masthead regarding the alleged forged signatures and board positions and what she will tell authorities.
In a text message sent on Feb. 22 this year, Ridgway tells her, “Just remember I’ve taken care of you all my life and protected the kids. Now I need your help to protect me from my evil boss and the shit he fueled.
In other lyrics, Kerrilyn says to her estranged husband, “I knew nothing about these companies and board positions. I don’t want to lie and get in trouble. That is not my mother’s signature.” He replied, “Suppose you can’t remember because it was a long time ago and you signed many papers over the years.”
In a text message on Feb. 26, Kerrilyn reverts to using her mother’s signature. “You clearly signed for mom. You want me to say you had her authority? Even though we know she didn’t.” He replies, “They can’t verify her signature; just say it’s hers.
Ridgway was asked a series of questions, but did not respond.
The Morning Edition newsletter is our guide to the most important and interesting stories, analysis and insights of the day. Register here.