Bega cheese monster ‘forced to unlock his super wealth’
Sex monsters such as former Bega Cheese boss Maurice Van Ryn may have to open up their superannuation funds to their victims under reforms planned by the federal government.
Minister for Revenue and Financial Services Kelly O'Dwyer is "deeply concerned" that millionaire paedophiles like Van Ryn, 62, can hide their wealth in tax-free super to avoid compensating young people they have abused.
The families of his nine victims have been campaigning for his superannuation money to be unlocked after The Daily Telegraph revealed that while he claims to be down to his last $26,000, he had assets which would be worth up to an estimated $9 million.
Ms O'Dwyer has pledged to include the families' proposal in a review she is conducting into circumstances where superannuation can be accessed.
Van Ryn, serving 18 years with a non-parole period of 13 years 6 months in jail after admitting 17 offences against nine girls and boys between 2003 to 2014, has admitted through his lawyers that his "principal asset" is his superannuation fund but has told the victims they will get none of it.
"Allegations that an individual would attempt to hide their assets in superannuation to avoid compensating victims of crimes of this nature are deeply concerning," Ms O'Dwyer said today.
"Given the horrific nature of the allegations and in rare circumstances such as these, I believe it is worth considering how the relevant laws may need to be amended to ensure victims of such crimes are not left without recourse."
The parents of the nine boys and girls, who were family friends of Van Ryn, are pursuing him for compensation in a case due to begin in the District Court next month.
They are trying to find out where his money went and said they were hoping he would "lose it all".
"I'm pleased the minister has listened to us so quickly and been prepared to act," a spokesman for the families said.
" This is not just about our children but for victims who have difficulty in civil claims while these horrible people can hide their wealth in superannuation to avoid claims."
Victims advocate Howard Brown said the laws had to be "fixed now".
"Why do we permit paedophiles to hide behind legislation that protects their super?" Mr Brown said.
Superannuation can be accessed in bankruptcies if it is shown that the bankrupt hid assets in a super fund to defraud creditors and it is now able to be sourced in divorce cases under the Family Law Act.
The former high-profile boss of Bega Cheese has warned his nine young victims that he will "strenuously" fight their civil claim and force them to be medically examined and quizzed in the witness box after they turned down a paltry offer to settle out of court.