Ms Clare Hall, also known as Clare Niarchos, was prosecuted in the Whyalla Magistrates Court on 21 July 2016 for making a false declaration, obtaining property by fraud after becoming bankrupt and obtaining goods or services without advising she was an undischarged bankrupt.
Ms Hall has declared herself bankrupt on four separate occasions. When becoming bankrupt for the second time, Ms Hall failed to disclose information about her financial affairs, including that she was operating a home based wedding business providing customised goods and services.
Ms Hall continued to operate her business, Beautiful Delights, during her bankruptcy and obtained goods from various suppliers to the value of approximately $14,500 without advising that she was an undischarged bankrupt. Ms Hall also provided false information to suppliers inducing them to believe that she that she had paid for the goods in advance.
During her bankruptcy, Ms Hall changed her business name to Memorable Occasions and then again to Agape Weddings.
Ms Hall pleaded guilty and was convicted on all charges. She was sentenced to three months imprisonment but released on a $100 good behaviour bond for 18 months.
She was also required to make a reparation payment of $175.15 to one of the suppliers—Goody Goody Gum Drops Pty Ltd, in accordance with Section 21B of the Crimes Act.
Magistrate Kitchin stated that Ms Hall’s acts in providing false invoice numbers were deliberate, dishonest acts and her offending was not unintentional.
He agreed with the prosecution’s submission that personal and general deterrence were important sentencing considerations and that innocent parties had been impacted by her conduct.
Magistrate Kitchin stated that the purpose of the Bankruptcy Act is to protect creditors from those who declare themselves bankrupt. He commented that had it not been for Ms Hall’s guilty plea she would have been sentenced to four months imprisonment.
The matter was prosecuted by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions.