Bankrupt who hid thousands from trustee is sentenced to 6 months imprisonment

Harvey Tudor, who was made bankrupt in January 2014, was sentenced to 6 months imprisonment after disposing of property whilst bankrupt and failing to account for this money to the Official Receiver and his creditors. If you have are facing a bankruptcy petition, have been made bankrupt or you are in the process of bankruptcy, our specialist insolvency team can assist and advise you.

Mr Tudor was made bankrupt on 6 January 2014, following a bankruptcy petition issued by HMRC. Whilst still bankrupt, in February 2015, Mr Tudor sold a property that he jointly owned with his wife, receiving funds of £59,000.

Mr Tudor failed to account to the Official Receiver of this amount as he was required to do in the course of bankruptcy and whilst the trustee in bankruptcy was managing his estate. He owed his creditors £52,000.

As Mr Tudor had failed to cooperate with the Official Receiver, his discharge from bankruptcy was suspended indefinitely.

Mr Tudor pleaded guilty to one count of failing to declare property whilst bankrupt at the Lancashire Magistrate’s Court and was sentenced to 6 months imprisonment, suspended for 18 months, a 3 month curfew and a contribution to the prosecution’s costs of £2,200.

This case shows that we will not hesitate to take these matters to the criminal courts where it is appropriate to do so, and this sentence should act as a warning to others who try to hide their assets while bankrupt.

Who is the trustee in bankruptcy?

When a bankruptcy order has been made, the consequence of which is that the bankrupt’s estate (i.e. his / her assets and property) vests in the trustee in bankruptcy.

Who is the Official Receiver?

An Official Receiver is an officer of the insolvency Service and the Court and they manage the first stage of bankruptcies.

To search for the official receiver or an office, you can use the Insolvency Service Search.

What does the Official Receiver do?

After you are made bankrupt, your case will be allocated to an Official Receiver who will take over your financial affairs and handle all aspects of your bankruptcy including:

  • investigating your conduct, affairs and the reasons for insolvency;
  • carrying out an affordability assessment;
  • liaising with your creditors;
  • taking control of your property; and
  • acting as a trustee of your bankruptcy in order to distribute your property and money between your creditors.

You must cooperate with the Official Receiver at all times to the best of your abilities, providing all of the information they request in relation to your property and financial situation.

Will I lose my home if I am declared bankrupt?

The general rule is that the trustee in bankruptcy can decide whether to sell the family home to repay creditors what you owe them. If the trustee has not put your home up for sale within 3 years, the equity will be transferred back to you.

What is a Bankruptcy Restriction Order?

Bankruptcy Restriction Order (BRO) is a court order, which extends the period of time for which you have to follow certain restrictions. This can last up to 15 years and can restrict your financial affairs.

Failure to comply with a Bankruptcy Restriction Order

If you break any of the restrictions when a BRO is made against you, you’ll be committing a criminal offence. You could be fined or sent to prison.

If you have a BRO and have broken any of the restrictions, you should seek legal advice as soon as possible.

Book an Initial Consultation with Expert Bankruptcy Solicitors and Barristers

We are a specialist City of London law firm made up of Solicitors & Barristers and are based in the legal heart of London in Middle Temple (one of the four prestigious barristers’ Inns of Court) adjacent to the Royal Courts of Justice. We are experts in dealing with matters surrounding bankruptcy including defending bankruptcy petitions; managing bankruptcy applications (including annulments); advising on bankruptcy petitions and offences; and liaising with the Official Receiver.  Whilst we are based in London we provide national coverage across all Courts in England & Wales. We offer free initial telephone advice on bankruptcy matters.

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