Three-time bankrupt, Mr Fernando Fasani, received a suspended three month prison sentence, and a 12 month good behaviour order, after pleading guilty to 26 charges under Commonwealth bankruptcy laws.
The charges related to:
- Obtaining property and incurring debt by fraud
- Not disclosing his bankruptcy while obtaining credit, specifically credit cards
- Making false declarations in forms submitted to the Australian Financial Security Authority (AFSA), the Australian Government’s personal insolvency regulator
- Failing to disclose funds, and
- Withdrawing funds from his bank accounts.
Mr Fasani of Altona Victoria, was sentenced in the Sunshine Magistrates Court on 14 August 2019, after pleading guilty to 26 charges under the Commonwealth Bankruptcy Act earlier in the month.
His Honour, Magistrate M. Wardell, handed Mr Fasani a suspended sentence of three months’ imprisonment. Mr Fasani was released immediately on a Recognisance Release Order, which requires him to be of good behaviour for 12 months.
In sentencing, His Honour said the offending was serious and described Mr Fasani’s use of aliases to obtain credit as ‘disturbing’.
His Honour highlighted Mr Fasani’s lack of prior convictions and guilty plea in deeming it appropriate to suspend the prison term.
Mr Fasani first became bankrupt in October 1999 and obtained an early discharge from bankruptcy in June 2000. He became bankrupt for a second time a decade later.
During his second bankruptcy Mr Fasani closed his superannuation account and withdrew more than $138,000. He deposited the funds into his personal bank account.
Mr Fasani also incurred credit card debts of almost $70,000. When applying for six different credit cards, Mr Fasani failed to disclose his bankruptcy, and provided false information including different names when applying for five of those cards.
In February 2013, just months before he was due to be discharged from his second bankruptcy, Mr Fasani filed documents to bankrupt his alias - Fasani Fernando. As part of the bankruptcy process, he provided false information in his Statement of Affairs to AFSA.
During Mr Fasani’s second bankruptcy and his third under the name Fasani Fernando, he did not disclose that he held a bank account with over $125,000. He instead reported that he only had $2.05.
After moving funds from his NAB to his HSBC bank account, Mr Fasani progressively withdrew over $100,000 via cheques and as cash.
The Official Trustee, which is a body corporate operated by AFSA, recovered more than $100,000 from one of Mr Fasani’s bank accounts in December 2013.
The matter was prosecuted by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions on behalf of AFSA.
Key dates and details:
On 1 October 1999, Mr Fasani became bankrupt by Debtor’s Petition in the name Fernando Fasani. On 27 June 2000, he obtained an early discharge.
On 14 May 2010, Mr Fasani became bankrupt for a second time by Debtor’s Petition in the name Fernando Fasani. He provided false particulars on his Statement of Affairs to the Australian Financial Security Authority (AFSA).
During his second bankruptcy, Mr Fasani was approved for six credit cards without disclosing his bankruptcy. Four of the cards also attracted a fraud charge.
Charges relating to not disclosing bankruptcy and fraud:
- Coles Myer Source MasterCard under the name Fasam Fernando and with a false date of birth
- Westpac GM Holden MasterCard under the name Fasan Fernando
- Westpac Altitude Platinum Visa under the name Fasan Fernando
- a Westpac 55 Day Platinum Visa under the name Fasan Fernando
Charges relating to not disclosing bankruptcy:
- NAB Visa Gold under the name Fernando Fasani
- Westpac Earth Platinum under the name Fasan Fernando
On 21 December 2012, Mr Fasani closed his superannuation account and withdrew $138,571.99. The funds were deposited into his NAB Classic account.
On the same day, he filed a Declaration of Intention to File a Debtor’s Petition in the name Fasani Fernando and provided false particulars.
On 24 December 2012, Mr Fasani transferred $130,000 from his NAB Classic account into his NAB iSaver account.
On 7 February 2013, Mr Fasani became bankrupt for a third time by Debtor’s Petition in the name of Fasani Fernando. The petition and his Statement of Affairs were filed twice. On both occasions, he provided false particulars on his Statement of Affairs.
The trustee became aware of the funds in the NAB account and during the course of the trustee’s investigation. NAB froze Mr Fasani’s account.
On 16 April 2013, Mr Fasani filed with the trustee a completed Statement of Income. He disclosed he had $2.05 in his NAB account. At the time, Mr Fasani had another NAB account with a balance of $125,289.93, this account was not disclosed.
On 15 May 2013, Mr Fasani was discharged from his second bankruptcy. As a result of Mr Fasani’s discharge from his second bankruptcy, NAB unfroze his account in July 2013.
On 6 August 2013, Mr Fasani withdrew $120,000 from his NAB account. The funds were deposited into his HSBC Premier Cash Management account.
On 29 October 2013, Mr Fasani withdrew, by cheques, the amounts of $50,000, $35,000 and $15,000. He also withdrew amounts of $10,000 and $1,000 in cash from his HSBC account.
On 22 November 2013, Mr Fasani deposited $50,000 into his HSBC account and subsequently withdrew $30,000 in cash from an ATM at Crown Casino. A further cash withdrawal of $19,550 was made on 27 November 2013.
On 18 December 2013, the Official Trustee, which is supported by AFSA, recovered more than $100,000 from one of Mr Fasani’s bank accounts.
On 7 August 2019, Mr Fasani pleaded guilty to all 26 charges.
On 14 August 2019, Mr Fasani was sentenced to imprisonment for:
- One month for the six charges of obtaining credit without disclosing his bankruptcy
- Three months for the six charges of obtaining property by fraud
- Three months for five charges of incurring debt or liability by fraud
- One month for four charges of making false declarations
- 14 days for four charges of removing property
- Seven days for one charge of not disclosing property, (funds in his NAB bank account) on his Statement of Income.
The terms of imprisonment were to be served concurrently.
In sentencing, Magistrate Wardell deemed it appropriate that the prison sentence be suspended.
Mr Fasani was released on a Recognisance Release Order to be of good behaviour for 12 months.
In 2018-19, 96 persons were prosecuted for a total of 145 charges during the year. Of those charges, 11 were withdrawn, 122 proven with conviction, 4 proven without conviction, 7 were dismissed and 1 not proven.
Please email media [at] afsa.gov.au or phone 0408 105 665.