A bankrupt who transferred a £33,000 inheritance windfall to avoid paying the tax he owed has been given a suspended sentence
Newcastle Crown Court was told that Lee Davis, of Blyth, Northumberland, was declared bankrupt in April 2016 following a petition by the tax authorities having failed to pay taxes he owed.
A month before bankruptcy, however, Davis received more than £33,000 in inheritance from his father’s estate. He then transferred half of the funds to his wife and paid other creditors he owed, without repaying the tax authorities.
The offence came to light when the Official Receiver examined Davis’ records and uncovered that he had failed to declare all his assets, including the inheritance.
The Official Receiver established that months after his bankruptcy, Davis also obtained a £1,900 loan from a pawnbroker in Newcastle upon Tyne without disclosing that he was a bankrupt.
Due to the risk Davis posed to creditors, in 2017 the Official Receiver secured a five-year bankruptcy restrictions order.
Davis has now been sentenced to six months imprisonment suspended for 12 months, after pleading guilty to three charges.
Julie Barnes, chief investigator at the Insolvency Service, said: ‘Lee Davis claimed he did not know he had to tell the Official Receiver about money he had already received and instead hid more than £33,000 that should have gone to the creditors he owed.
‘This sentence should act as a warning for others who are considering bankruptcy from hiding or disposing of their assets and that such offences are viewed as serious by the courts and the Insolvency Service.’