A bankrupt Deal or no Deal TV show winner, Andrew John Barker, has started a 13-week jail term after failing to overturn an earlier sentence – handed down by Nuneaton Magistrates Court – for not disclosing his 35,000 winnings to the Official Receiver and his creditors.
The appeal was dismissed by Warwick Crown Court. The conviction follows an initial investigation by the Insolvency Service and a full criminal investigation and prosecution by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).
Forty-one-year-old Mr Barker, who went on a spending spree after winning the money, had previously pleaded guilty to one count of failing to disclose property acquired after he was made bankrupt to the Official Receiver and one count of failing to hand in that property to the Official Receiver.
He was sentenced to 13 weeks imprisonment for each count to run concurrently, and ordered to pay 3,418.36 prosecution costs.
Mr Barker was made bankrupt on 23 November 2011, when he declared he owed his creditors 61,438.50. In April 2012, while still an undischarged bankrupt, he appeared on a television programme, “Deal or No Deal”, where he won 35,000. The money was paid into his account on 2 May 2012.
Instead of declaring the windfall to the Official Receiver as required ,he removed the entire sum, spending it on plane tickets, hotels, jewellery and by making large cash withdrawals. By the time the programme aired on 21 August 2012, the entire sum had been removed from the bank account.
The investigation found that Mr Barkers spending spree included:
– Cash withdrawals totalling 29,103 between May and June 2012;
– 1,453 spent on aeroplane tickets and with a travel agent in July and August 2012;
– 1,098 spent on jewellery in May and June 2012;
– 736 spent on hotels in May 2012; and
– 371.99 spent on golfing in August 2012.
Commenting on Mr Barkers conviction, Deputy Chief Investigation Officer Glenn Wicks from the Department for Business Innovation and Skills, said:
Mr Barker thought he could get away with taking the money he had won and not informing the Official Receiver who could have used it to pay the creditors in his bankruptcy.
He had however appeared publically on a television quiz show and was seen by people affected by his actions. This sentence should serve as a reminder that the rules of bankruptcy are there for a reason and must be followed. The courts take criminal offences like these very seriously.