Anthony Kellett, a bankrupt has been sentenced to two years imprisonment by HHJ Kelson Q.C. at Sheffield Crown Court on 27 January 2014 for failing to disclose cash of 33,160.29 in his estate at the time of the bankruptcy and failing to account for payments totalling 97,074.16 out of personal bank accounts in the 12 months before he became bankrupt.
Mr Kelletts sentence follows an initial investigation by the Insolvency Service and a further investigation and prosecution by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.
Commenting on the case, Deputy Chief Investigating Officer Mike Williams, with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, said:
This sentence is a reminder to other potential offenders that in bankruptcy, there are severe penalties for failing to provide a full and honest disclosure to the Official Receiver.
The court heard that:
In presenting his own bankruptcy petition on 27 April 2010 the same day the bankruptcy order was made – Mr Kellett stated that he had no assets and had been unemployed, and in receipt of benefits, for a number of years.
Within weeks of the bankruptcy order, Mr Kellett was the victim of an armed robbery, during which a holdall containing cash of 33,160 was stolen from him. The police intercepted the robbers and recovered the cash which they subsequently retained under Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA).
Whilst Mr Kellett alleged that the monies were loaned to him post bankruptcy by relatives who were aware of his bankruptcy, the relatives were unwilling or unable to provide statements or documentary evidence to the police and the money was successfully claimed by the trustee in bankruptcy.
The Official Receivers (OR) investigators, within the Insolvency Service suspected that the cash actually related to profit from a haulage business operated during Mr Kelletts pre-bankruptcy period, and the receipt of bank statements showing significant cash movements from his bank accounts in the 12 months prior to his petition confirmed this.
After failing to account for or return 97,000, the OR applied for Mr Kelletts public examination (PE). At the hearing, Mr Kellett claimed he had allowed a third party, specifically the perpetrator of the armed robbery, to operate a business using his personal bank account. However, various transactions on the account clearly related to Mr Kellett including the receipt of his miners pension and maintenance payments to his ex-wife.
The Judge presiding over the PE on 16 November 2011, described Mr Kelletts account as a fairy-tale and indefinitely suspended his discharge from bankruptcy. As Mr Kellett has provided no further explanation to date, he remains an undischarged bankrupt.
The OR subsequently reported Mr Kelletts conduct to BIS, who successfully obtained custodial sentences of 12 months each for Mr Kelletts failure to disclose the stolen cash of 33,160 as a bankruptcy asset; and his failure to provide a satisfactory explanation of the payments from his account totalling 97,074.
In addition, the court made an order against him for the costs of the prosecution of 14,287.63 to be paid within three months or face the possibility of incurring a further sentence.