There are a number of serious offences under the Bankruptcy Act 1966 for which a bankrupt person could be prosecuted. The Act has been strengthened in recent years to ensure that there are significant penalties for bankrupts who attempt to dispose of or conceal property in an effort to defeat creditors. The time period in which such actions are viewed as criminal often precedes the commencement date of bankruptcy.
Examples of offences and bankruptcy charges under the Act include:
Concealment of property [Bankruptcy Act 1966 s 263] — maximum penalty of 3 years imprisonment.
Giving a false affidavit [Bankruptcy Act 1966 s 263A] — maximum penalty of $200 or 6 months imprisonment for a summary offence; for an indictable offence the maximum penalty is 4 years imprisonment.
Failure of person to attend court [Bankruptcy Act 1966 s 264A]
Failure to disclose property [Bankruptcy Act 1966 s 265] — this includes the disposition of property for a period of 2 years immediately preceding the date the bankruptcy commenced — maximum penalty of 1 year imprisonment.
Making false representations or fraud on creditors [Bankruptcy Act 1966 s 265] — maximum penalty of 3 years imprisonment.
Concealing property after bankruptcy commenced — [Bankruptcy Act 1966 s 265] — maximum penalty of 1 year imprisonment.
Making a false declaration [Bankruptcy Act 1966 s 267] — maximum penalty of 12 months imprisonment.
Obtaining credit without disclosing bankruptcy [Bankruptcy Act 1966 s 269] — maximum penalty of 3 years imprisonment.
Gambling or hazardous speculations [Bankruptcy Act 1966 s 271] — if a bankrupt materially contributes to or increases their insolvency due to gambling or hazardous speculations even 2 years prior to their bankruptcy they may be guilty of an offence under the Act. The behaviour must have been rash or hazardous in light of their financial position at the time and any speculations made must not have been connected to their trade or business — maximum penalty of 1 year imprisonment.
Leaving Australia with intent to defeat creditors [Bankruptcy Act 1966 s 272] — maximum penalty of 3 years imprisonment.
If you are facing a bankruptcy charge, or are seeking further information on a Criminal or Traffic legal matter, call North Shore Criminal Law on (02) 9955 2298 or our 24 hour Emergency Service on 0400 44 64 24.