Media release: NSW (Crawley) – Credit card spending, disposal of property and making a false declaration results in conviction for Sydney bankrupt

Thursday, May 16, 2019

On 14 May 2019, Mrs Judith Crawley was sentenced in the Sydney Downing Centre Local Court, charged with disposing of property prior to becoming bankrupt, contracting credit card debts with no expectation of being able to repay the debts and making a false declaration in her Statement of Affairs.

Mrs Crawley, together with other respondents including her husband, Mr Christopher Crawley, a former Sydney pub baron, was involved in Supreme Court proceedings which resulted in the respondents being ordered to pay more than $5 million in June 2014.

Mrs Crawley became bankrupt on 13 November 2014 after filing a Debtor’s Petition and Statement of Affairs.

Between June 2014 and the date of her bankruptcy, Mrs Crawley disposed of over $84,000 from her bank account.

She also incurred debts of over $35,000 using two credit cards to purchase cosmetic products, clothing from Gucci and Hermes Paris, shoes from Jimmy Choo, hair styling, botox treatments and pre-payments for dog grooming and hair styling at a Joh Bailey salon in Double Bay.

Taking into account her financial circumstances at the time, Mrs Crawley had no reasonable expectation of being able to repay these debts.

In her Statement of Affairs, Mrs Crawley failed to disclose a bank account into which she had transferred funds the day before she became bankrupt.

Mrs Crawley pleaded guilty to all charges.

For disposing of property before becoming bankrupt, Magistrate Huntsman sentenced Mrs Crawley to 12 months imprisonment to be served as a 12 month Intensive Correction Order, with a requirement to perform 100 hours community service work.

For each of the three charges of incurring debts on her credit cards and making a false declaration on her Statement of Affairs, Mrs Crawley was sentenced to an eight month Intensive Correction Order with the condition that she perform 50 hours community service work with the sentences to be served concurrently.

In sentencing, Magistrate Huntsman noted that Mrs Crawley had substantial debt and needed to take responsibility for her spending. She also referred to the need for general deterrence and commented that the Court must deter others from subverting the Bankruptcy Act.

The matter was prosecuted by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions on behalf of the Australian Financial Security Authority.

Key details:

  • In June 2014, Mrs Crawley was one of a group of respondents including her husband, Mr Christopher Crawley, a former Sydney pub baron, in Supreme Court proceedings initiated by the Executrix of the Estate of the late Warwick Short. The court found against the respondents and a judgment amount in excess of $5million was ordered to be paid.
  • On 13 November 2014, Mrs Crawley became bankrupt.
  • Between June 2014 and the date of her bankruptcy, Mrs Crawley disposed of over $84,000 from her bank account.
  • Between 7 January 2014 and 12 November 2014, Mrs Crawley incurred a debt on a credit card account totalling $25,021. This debt include a $4,471 purchase at David Jones on the day she signed her Debtor’s Petition.
  • Between 27 October 2014 and 12 November 2014, Mrs Crawley incurred a debt on a second credit card account totalling $10,830. This debt included purchases made on the day she signed her Debtor’s Petition, including $3,000 at Gucci and $6,330 at Hermes Paris.
  • In her Statement of Affairs she failed to disclose a bank account into which she had transferred funds the day before she became bankrupt.
  • Mrs Crawley pleaded guilty to four charges. For disposal of property she was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment to be served as a 12 month Intensive Correction Order, with a requirement to perform 100 hours community service work.
  • For the three charges of debts incurred on her credit cards and making a false declaration on her Statement of Affairs, Mrs Crawley was sentenced to an eight month Intensive Correction Order on each charge, with a condition that she perform 50 hours community service work for each.