Media Release: QLD (Wakeling)—Bankrupt convicted for disposal of funds bequeathed from deceased estate

On 14 August 2018, Mr Peter Roy Wakeling pleaded guilty in the Toowoomba Magistrates Court to six counts of disposing of property worth more than $20.

On 15 December 2015, while he was an undischarged bankrupt, Mr Wakeling received $172,400 in his bank account, bequeathed from a deceased estate. On 10 March 2016, he received a further $16,068.74 from the deceased estate.

Having received these funds, Mr Wakeling did not notify his Trustee in Bankruptcy, instead he transferred $139,737.65 to the first ranking mortgagee of the over-encumbered property where he lived. This payment did not create sufficient equity for the Trustee in Bankruptcy to be able to justify selling the property as other secured interests existed. However, the payment extinguished the claim of the first mortgagee.

Between 22 December 2015 and 14 March 2016, Mr Wakeling also made five transfers totalling $34,100, which were funded by the money bequeathed to him.

The transfer of funds to the mortgagee and five other transactions were the basis of the six counts of disposing of property over $20 in value, contrary to section 265(4)(a) of the Bankruptcy Act 1966 (Cth).

The funds removed totalled $173,837.65.

Mr Wakeling was convicted and released upon entering into a recognisance release order with a condition that he be of good behaviour for 18 months.

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