On 12 February 2018, Mr Gregory Searle pleaded guilty in the Townsville Magistrates Court to making a false declaration in his Statement of Affairs and failing to fully disclose information to his trustee, about his interest in a deceased estate.
The Official Trustee became aware of Mr Searle’s interest from the lawyer acting on behalf of one of the co-executors of the deceased estate.
Subsequent action by the Official Trustee resulted in recovery of the full amount due under the terms of the will.
In sentencing, Magistrate Osborne took into account Mr Searle’s guilty plea, his lack of criminal history and his cooperation with the investigation.
Mr Searle was convicted and sentenced to fines of $500 for making out a false Statement of Affairs, and $2,200 for a failure to truly and fully disclose information to his trustee. The fines are required to be paid in full within 18 months.
The matter was prosecuted by the Office of the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions on behalf of the Australian Financial Security Authority.