Media release: QLD (Sarnelli) – bankrupt convicted of further offences

Friday, May 3, 2019

On 29 April 2019, Adriano (Adro) Sarnelli was prosecuted in the Richlands Magistrates court, charged with not fully disclosing to his trustee, property he received during his bankruptcy.

He was also charged with concealing, removing or disposing of that property and failing to fully disclose to his trustee, information about the identity of the person to whom he gave that property.

Mr Sarnelli became bankrupt on 12 February 2015 by an order of the court.

In November 2017, he received an inheritance of $32,984.48 from his late mother’s deceased estate. That money should have been made available for the benefit of his creditors.

Instead of advising his trustee that he was a beneficiary, he directed that the funds be paid into an account of a friend. He failed to provide the identity of his friend to the trustee when requested.

Mr Sarnelli had previously been convicted of an offence under the Bankruptcy Act in June 2017 and was placed on a 12 month good behaviour bond. These most recent offences breached that bond.

Mr Sarnelli pleaded guilty to all charges including the breach of his bond.

Magistrate Simpson convicted Mr Sarnelli and sentenced him to four months imprisonment on each offence to be served concurrently, released immediately and placed on a $1,000 good behaviour bond for three years.

In sentencing, His Honour stated that bankruptcy only works where creditors receive funds that become available. Mr Sarnelli had failed to declare a significant amount of money and this was aggravated by similar offending and the deception involved.

Mr Sarnelli had previously been told by another Magistrate to keep on top of his bankruptcy obligations and had been placed on a bond, yet four months later he offended again.

His Honour did not accept that Mr Sarnelli was naïve about his obligations.

Mr Sarnelli’s former good behaviour bond of $2,000 was forfeited. No further action was taken.

Mr Sarnelli was ordered to pay costs of $199.10.

The trustee has lodged an objection to Mr Sarnelli’s automatic discharge from bankruptcy and has extended the expiry date to 6 March 2023.

Mr Sarnelli came to fame when he won the Biggest Loser television competition in 2006. His prize included $200,000 which he used to establish a weight loss centre in 2008 in Melbourne.

The business closed in late 2014.

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

Key points:

Mr Adriano (Adro) Sarnelli won the Biggest Loser television competition in 2006. His prize included $200,000 which he used to establish a weight loss centre in 2008 in Melbourne.

That business closed in 2014.

On 12 February 2015, Mr Sarnelli was made bankrupt by a sequestration order.

In June 2017 Mr Sarnelli was convicted of a bankruptcy offence and was placed on a 12 month good behaviour bond.

In November 2017, he received an inheritance of $32,984.48 from his late mother’s deceased estate.

He failed to advise his trustee of the inheritance and paid the funds into a friend’s bank account.

He failed to inform the trustee of the identity of his friend.

On 29 April 2019, Mr Sarnelli was prosecuted in the Richlands Magistrates court, charged with not fully and truly disclosing to his trustee, property he received during his bankruptcy.

He was also charged with concealing, removing or disposing of that property and failing to fully and truly disclose to his trustee, information about the identity of the person to whom he gave that property.

Mr Sarnelli pleaded guilty to all charges including the breach of his bond.

Magistrate Simpson convicted Mr Sarnelli and sentenced him to four months imprisonment on each offence to be served concurrently, released forthwith upon entering a recognisance in the sum of $1,000 to be of good behaviour for three years.

In sentencing, His Honour stated that bankruptcy only works where creditors receive funds that become available. Mr Sarnelli failed to declare a significant amount of money and this was aggravated by similar offending and the deception involved.

Magistrate Simpson noted that Mr Sarnelli had already been told by another Magistrate to keep on top of his bankruptcy obligations and had been placed on a bond, yet four months later he offended again.

His Honour did not accept that Mr Sarnelli was naïve as to his obligations.

In relation to the breach, his previous recognizance of $2,000 was forfeited but no further action was taken.

Mr Sarnelli was ordered to pay costs of $199.10.

The trustee has lodged an objection to Mr Sarnelli’s automatic discharge from bankruptcy and has extended the bankruptcy expiry date to 6 March 2023.