Adriano (Adro) Sarnelli was charged on 6 February 2017 with contracting a debt within two years of becoming bankrupt, and without having any reasonable expectation of being able to pay the debt given his other liabilities.
Mr Sarnelli became bankrupt on 12 February 2015 by an order of the court. In November 2014, prior to becoming bankrupt, he obtained a credit card from Citigroup and then proceeded to make purchases in excess of $8,000 when at that time he had personal liabilities of over $280,000.
Mr Sarnelli pleaded not guilty to the charge in the Southport Magistrates Court, and was found guilty after a contested hearing on 16 June 2017. Magistrate Phillipson convicted Mr Sarnelli and imposed a 12 month good behaviour bond with $2,000 surety. In sentencing the Magistrate stated that Mr Sarnelli was in a very precarious financial position when he incurred his financial debt. The Magistrate described his behaviour as a serious offence and stated others needed to be deterred from engaging in similar conduct.
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 Office of the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions.