Conviction and fine for two bankrupts who failed to file Statement of Affairs

Two bankrupts have been convicted and fined for failing to submit their Statement of Affairs to the personal insolvency regulator, the Australian Financial Security Authority (AFSA).

When someone is made bankrupt by court order they are legally required to file a Statement of Affairs within 14 days of notification of their bankruptcy. Failing to file a Statement of Affairs is a criminal offence under Commonwealth bankruptcy law and carries a maximum penalty of a $10,500 fine.

Malcolm Robert Coghill

On 11 March 2020, Mr Malcolm Robert Coghill was convicted and fined in the Tweed Heads Local Court, after failing to file a Statement of Affairs for his bankruptcy, which commenced in 2009. 

Mr Coghill has previously faced two separate criminal prosecutions for offences relating to his failure to file his Statement of Affairs. As a result of the latest prosecution, Mr Coghill has now filed his statement.

Mr Coghill’s bankruptcy will continue until 2022 – 13 years after the initial bankruptcy court order was made.

Danuta Janina Power

On 9 March 2020, Ms Danuta Janina Power was convicted in the Kalgoorlie Magistrates’ Court after failing to submit a Statement of Affairs in response to her court-ordered bankruptcy.

Ms Power, also known as Danuta Janina Malec, became bankrupt by order of the court in September 2018.

Despite repeated attempts by the registered trustee to obtain information from Ms Power, she failed to submit her Statement of Affairs and the case was referred to AFSA.

In June 2019, AFSA pursued criminal charges against Ms Power.

While Ms Power’s bankruptcy commenced on the day of the court order in September 2018, her failure to submit the Statement of Affairs means that her bankruptcy will continue indefinitely.

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Both cases were prosecuted on behalf of AFSA by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions.

Charges under the Bankruptcy Act 1966 (Cth)

Ms Power failed to attend court and the matter was dealt with in her absence. She was convicted of one charge under the Bankruptcy Act 1966 (Cth):

  • Failure to file a Statement of Affairs with the Official Receiver within 14 days of being notified of bankruptcy – Section 54(1)
  • Ms Power was convicted in her absence and fined $2,500

Mr Coghill pleaded guilty to one charge under the Bankruptcy Act 1966 (Cth):

  • Failure to file a Statement of Affairs – Subsection 77CA
  • In total, Mr Coghill has been fined over $2,000 and is now subject to more than two years of recognisance