Media Release: QLD (Hull) – Bankrupt convicted of disposing of property prior to bankruptcy

Thursday, February 7, 2019

On 6 February 2019, Mrs Heather Rose Hull was sentenced in the Southport Magistrates Court, after pleading guilty to four counts of disposing of property totalling more than $300,000 before she went bankrupt.

On 10 July 2015, Mrs Hull filed for voluntary bankruptcy. She had unsecured debts of more than $500,000.

In the years prior to becoming bankrupt, Mrs Hull received more than $900,000 from the sale of two properties.

She also received $270,000 from MacBean Classic Homes, a company she was formerly a director of. Subsequent to her resignation as director, her husband was appointed as director. 

In June 2013, that company was placed under external administration and liquidators were appointed.

Mrs Hull made several transfers of funds to another of her accounts and to the account of Purejet Investments Pty Ltd. That company later transferred funds to the bank account held by Mrs Hull’s financial adviser, Mr John Naramore of SME’s R Us Pty Ltd.

In December 2014, the liquidators of MacBean Classic Homes filed a Statement of Claim for the payment of $270,000. Judgment was made against Mrs Hull on 4 March 2015.

In the same month, she made further withdrawals from her account totalling more than $25,000.

In July 2015, Mrs Hull filed for voluntary bankruptcy. She had unsecured debts of more than $500,000.

No funds from her estate were available to the liquidators or her bankruptcy trustee. She was discharged by law from her bankruptcy on 11 July 2018.

In sentencing, Magistrate Dowse made the following comments:

  • The guilty plea was noted but it came after a brief of evidence had been served on her defence
  • It was a calculated and deliberate scheme—and there had been no attempts at restitution or compensation and no contrition expressed
  • Mrs Hull had no prior criminal history and had provided good character references
  • Mrs Hull did not devise the scheme by herself, but was influenced by her husband and their financial advisors. They sought advice to avoid paying creditors and protect their assets when the time for that had passed
  • It was a serious example of the offence because of the amount of money and no restitution at the time of sentencing
  • The family has lost their home, holiday house and cars
  • Mrs Hull is currently working part time
  • As a mature person with a background working in business, she should have known better

Magistrate Dowse concluded that imprisonment is the only appropriate sentence in these circumstances.

Mrs Hull was sentenced to a total of 12 months imprisonment, released forthwith upon giving a security of $5,000 to be of good behaviour for a period of four years.

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

Key facts

  • In January 2003, Mrs Hull became the sole registered owner of a house property in Helensvale, Queensland.
  • On 12 September 2003, she became the Director of a company called MacBean Classic Homes Pty Ltd.
  • On 6 December 2007, she resigned as Director and her husband Michael Edward Hull was subsequently appointed as Director.
  • On 31 May 2013, MacBean Classic Homes deposited $270,000 into Mrs Hull’s National Australia Bank mortgage account, secured over the Helensvale property.
  • In June 2013, MacBean Classic Homes was placed under external administration and liquidators were appointed. Mrs Hull was advised of the liquidators’ intention to pursue her for the unreasonable director-related transfer of $270, 000.
  • Mrs Hull sought advice from a financial advisor, Mr John Naramore of SME’S R Us Pty Ltd.
  • On 16 October 2014, Mrs Hull signed a contract to sell her house property at Helensvale.
  • She received $876,870 from the sale reducing the balance of that account to $277,230 credit. She then transferred $276,858.90 to a Westpac Saver bank account.
  • On 24 November 2014, Mrs Hull withdrew $300,000 from her Westpac Saver account and deposited it into an account held by Purejet Investments Pty Ltd. The money was for the purpose of an investment.
  • Between 3 and 29 December 2014, Purejet Investments Pty Ltd transferred amounts totalling $268,000 to SME’S R Us Pty Ltd.
  • In December 2014, the liquidators of MacBean Classic Homes filed a Statement of Claim in relation to the unreasonable director-related transfer of $270,000. Judgment was made against Mrs Hull on 4 March 2015.
  • On 27 March 2015, Mrs Hull received $23,146 being surplus funds received from the sale of another house property.
  • On 30 March, Mrs Hull withdrew $9, 215 from her Westpac Saver account. She made further withdrawals of $8, 700 on 2 April 2015 and $7, 100 on 8 April 2015.
  • On 10 July 2015, Mrs Hull filed for voluntary bankruptcy with unsecured debts in excess of $518,000.
  • On 6 February 2019, Mrs Hull was sentenced in the Southport Magistrates Court, after pleading guilty to four counts of disposing of property (totalling $301,873.90) before she went bankrupt.