Media release: SA (VADASZ) Bankrupt piling contractor guilty of obtaining credit without disclosing bankruptcy

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Mr Michael Christopher Vadasz of Adelaide, South Australia, has been sentenced in relation to offences of obtaining credit and obtaining amounts by promising to render services without disclosing his bankruptcy.  

Mr Vadasz, a 67-year-old piling contractor, was first declared bankrupt in December 2010 after accruing debts in excess of $12 million. Between 2012 and 2013, he entered into a contract to provide services on a construction project by Richard Crookes Constructions Pty Ltd (RCC). In October 2012, Mr Vadasz sought and was paid by RCC an advance payment totalling $389,745, for which Mr Vadasz provided a personal guarantee.

In April 2013 Mr Vadasz and RCC entered into a Deed of Variation for a separate $200,000 whereby he was to have made 8 repayments of $25,000 each to RCC. Mr Vadasz did not make any repayments.  At no time did Mr Vadasz inform anyone at RCC of his bankruptcy and RCC later discovered that Mr Vadasz was an undischarged bankrupt in August 2013.

On 21 September 2018, Judge P. Slattery of the District Court of South Australia convicted and sentenced Mr Vadasz to two years and 11 months imprisonment, after he plead guilty to one count of obtaining amounts by promising to render services without disclosing his bankruptcy, and one count of obtaining credit without disclosing his bankruptcy. Mr Vadasz was released on a $10,000 good behaviour recognisance for a period of three years, with the condition that he be under the supervision of a probation officer for two years.  

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

Key facts:

  • Mr Michael Christopher Vadasz, a 67 year old piling contractor from Adelaide, was convicted and sentenced on 21 September 2018 after pleading guilty to obtaining credit and obtaining amounts by promising to render services without disclosing his bankruptcy.
  • Mr Vadasz became bankrupt by a sequestration order on 7 December 2010 with debts in excess of $12 million.
  • Between 28 November 2012 and 27 May 2013, Mr Vadasz obtained amounts totalling $589,745 from Richard Crookes Constructions Pty Ltd (RCC), without informing anyone at the company of his bankruptcy.
  • RCC became aware of his bankruptcy status in August 2013.
  • He was discharged from bankruptcy on 14 November 2016 following a review of an objection by the trustee.
  • On 21 September 2018 Judge P. Slattery of the District Court of South Australia convicted and sentenced Mr Vadasz to a term of imprisonment of 2 years and 11 months. Mr Vadasz was released forthwith under section 20(1) (b) of the Crimes Act 1914 on a recognisance in the amount of $10,000 and ordered to be of good behaviour for a period of 3 years. It was further ordered that it be a condition of the recognisance that Mr Vadasz be under the supervision of a probation officer for 2 years.
  • Mr Vadasz has previously pleaded guilty to offences contrary to the Bankruptcy Act 1966.  On 8 April 2016 in the Adelaide Magistrates Court, Mr Vadasz was convicted and fined $5,000 in relation to four charges of leaving Australia without the permission of his trustee
  • Both of these matters were prosecuted by the Office of the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions on behalf of the Australian Financial Security Authority.