Media Release: VIC (Swindells) – Bankrupt convicted of making false statement

On 7 March 2019, Mr Zaccariah Paul Swindells pleaded guilty in the Melbourne Magistrates Court to knowingly making a false declaration in his Statement of Affairs.

On 24 March 2016, Mr Swindells sold a house property which he jointly owned with his two siblings. He directed that his share—a total of $54,023.19—be paid into a Kids Reward Saver account in his daughter’s name.

On 22 April 2016, a Bankruptcy Notice was personally served on Mr Swindells in relation to a Judgement made against him in favour of K&L Gates Australia, of $103,833.37 and his failure to pay that debt.

On 21 July 2016, Mr Swindells was made bankrupt by an Order of the court on a petition by K&L Gates Australia.

On 10 August 2016, Mr Swindells completed his Statement of Affairs which he provided to his bankruptcy trustee for filing with the Official Receiver. He signed a declaration that the information contained in that document was correct.

The Statement of Affairs contained a number of omissions including that he had received the proceeds of the sale of the house property prior to bankruptcy.

Mr Swindells participated in a voluntary record of interview with investigators from the Australian Financial Security Authority (AFSA) where he admitted that he should have taken more care and time instead of just ‘smashing it out’ when completing the Statement of Affairs.

Magistrate McNamara convicted Mr Swindells and placed him on a self-recognisance in the sum of $1000 to be of good behaviour for 12 months.

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