$275K of superannuation savings taken from unsuspecting couple.
The recent jailing of a bankrupt for 19 months for breaching a provision of The Bankruptcy Act (Act) should serve as a warning that breaches are taken seriously, with consequences including jail time.
Mr Wayne Panther, a 49 year old boat builder from Queensland was jailed on charges relating to obtaining credit and obtaining payments without disclosing the fact that he was an undischarged bankrupt.
In passing sentence, Judge Robertson said, that while the provisions of the bankruptcy laws were not designed to punish individuals who were not able to pay their debts, that they are also designed to protect the community from persons who have demonstrated an inability to manage their affairs. In this case it was dishonesty by an omission of failing to advise of his bankruptcy.
In this case the bankrupt had been provided with some $275,000 by Mr & Mrs Dibley on the understanding that the bankrupt was to provide them with goods and services. In doing this Mr Panther failed to advise Mr & Mrs Dibley of the fact that he was a bankrupt. If he had, it would have been unlikely that they would have invested their funds in him.
It should be noted that Mr Panther was already on a 12 month probation for forging a document.
It is acknowledged that one of the main purposes of the Act is to provide people with relief from their debts and give them a fresh start. However, this prosecution shows, that if one does not come with ‘clean hands’ in dealing with their debt problems then there are potential serious ramifications such as being sent to jail.