Media release: NSW (McLaughlin) - Bankrupt convicted of making false declaration

On 12 June 2019, Mr John Thomas McLaughlin was sentenced in the Goulburn Local Court, after pleading guilty to making a false declaration in his Statement of Affairs.

On 1 February 2016, Mr McLaughlin filed for voluntary bankruptcy with unsecured debts of $660,000.

On his Statement of Affairs, Mr McLaughlin failed to declare that he was the joint registered owner of a property in Tallong NSW and that he held a mortgage loan account secured over that property. He also failed to declare his business and its associated bank accounts.

The property was valued at approximately $300,000. Upon bankruptcy, his share of it vested with the bankruptcy trustee for the benefit of creditors.

Mr McLaughlin was discharged from his bankruptcy on 2 February 2019.

Magistrate Beattie sentenced Mr McLaughlin to eight months imprisonment, to be released on a recognizance release order after serving 4 months.

In imposing the sentence, Her Honour noted the purpose of the legislation and the effect such omissions of information have on the administration of a bankrupt estate.

Mr McLaughlin immediately lodged an appeal in relation to the severity of the sentence. He also applied for, and was granted bail.

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

Update, September 5, 2019

McLaughlin appeals court penalty

On 22 July 2019, an Appeal Hearing was heard in the Goulburn District Court; his Honour, Judge M L Williams SC, re-sentenced Mr McLaughlin. A conviction was recorded and Mr McLaughlin was placed on a good behaviour bond for two years with a self-recognizance of $500.

Media contact:

Please email media [at] afsa.gov.au or phone 0408 105 665.