Media release: NSW (Mehajer) AFSA exercises coercive powers to obtain financial records

Earlier today, officers of the Australian Financial Security Authority (AFSA), accompanied by members of the New South Wales Police Force, and Registered Trustee in Bankruptcy, Mr Paul Weston of Pitcher Partners, obtained financial and other records from residential and business premises associated with undischarged bankrupt, Mr Salim Mehajer.

This exercise was carried out to obtain books and records associated with Mr Mehajer’s bankruptcy which will enable his trustee to progress investigations into his financial affairs.

Premises across the central west and CBD areas of Sydney were searched, with records recovered from multiple sites.

Mr Mehajer was made bankrupt on 20 March 2018 on the petition of a creditor. 

AFSA utilised a power in the Bankruptcy Act to recover records for the benefit of the bankrupt estate. The power was exercised following a pattern of non-compliance by the bankrupt in providing his trustee with information needed to administer the estate.

Under the Bankruptcy Act, a trustee of a bankrupt estate can apply to the Official Receiver for assistance to recover books and records. This allows AFSA officials to access premises and recover books associated with the bankruptcy, in order to assist a trustee in fulfilling their duties.