On 31 May 2019, Mrs Helen Carol Gordon was sentenced in the Brisbane Magistrates Court, after pleading guilty to removing property prior to becoming bankrupt.
Mrs Gordon’s husband, Neil Russel Gordon also pleaded guilty to the same offence and was sentenced on 5 April 2019. He was convicted and placed on a $1,000 good behaviour bond for two years.
Mr and Mrs Gordon were the joint registered owners of two house properties. In November 2013 and January 2014, they sold the properties and received a total of $156,731 surplus.
Between 19 November 2013 and 11 February 2014, Mrs Gordon withdrew $49,100 cash in 12 transactions and Mr Gordon withdrew $104,500 in cash in 23 separate transactions, from their bank accounts.
On 24 March 2014, Mr and Mrs Gordon filed for voluntary bankruptcy with unsecured credit card debts exceeding $218,000 between them.
On 25 March 2017, Mr and Mrs Gordon were discharged by law from their bankruptcy.
In sentencing, Magistrate Payne took into account Mrs Gordon’s guilty plea, and lack of criminal history. Her Honour accepted the seriousness of the offences, however in deciding on a non-conviction bond, she noted the extenuating circumstances of Mrs Gordon being unaware that the conduct she engaged in was illegal and that she was acting on the directions of her then husband.
Her Honour also pointed to Mrs Gordon’s claim that she required a Real Estate Licence in order to continue her employment and that a conviction would potentially impede her application for one. Her Honour noted that it was therefore inexpedient to inflict other than nominal punishment.
A conviction was not recorded against Mrs Gordon, however she was placed on a $3,000 good behaviour bond for two years.
The matter was prosecuted by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions on behalf of the Australian Financial Security Authority.