Media Release: Vic (VO): Conviction for undischarged bankrupt builder

Mr Vu Son Vo, (also known as James Vo), was convicted for supplying goods and services over the amount of $3,000, without disclosing his bankruptcy status.

Mr Vo came under the scrutiny of the Australian Financial Security Authority (AFSA) after it received complaints from two home owners about renovation projects at Noble Park, Victoria in 2013 and Wheelers Hill, Victoria in 2015.

The first complaint related to a renovation job where Mr Vo quoted $30,500 to undertake the work. The complainant paid Mr Vo a total of $32,355 between June 2013 and February 2014 into his nominated bank account, for materials and building works.

In March 2014, the complainant informed Mr Vo that he no longer wanted him to make the renovations due to his unreliability. Mr Vo was asked to return the money paid as very little work had been done by that stage.

Mr Vo agreed to repay $25,000 as a lump sum, however only $1,500 was repaid in instalments.

The second complaint related to a concreting job and the construction of a masonry fence. Mr Vo quoted $42,500 in April 2015.

Between April and September 2015 the complainant had paid Mr Vo $40,325 in cash as requested, for the initial contract.

In May 2015, the complainant also paid Mr Vo $810 cash for replacing a boundary fence.

In both instances, Mr Vo failed to disclose to the complainants that he was an undischarged bankrupt.

Mr Vo was prosecuted in the Dandenong Magistrates Court by Coram Magistrate Ms P Spencer. He pleaded guilty to the two charges under section 269(1)(ad) of the Bankruptcy Act 1966 and was released on a $2,000 good behaviour bond.

AFSA National Manager, Regulation & Enforcement, Paul Shaw said, ‘Bankruptcy can provide an opportunity for individuals to rebuild their financial future, however it also comes with obligations that must be met.

‘Anyone who has information on a potential offence under the Bankruptcy Act, can contact AFSA through its Tip off website: Any information provided is confidential.

This matter was prosecuted by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions (CDPP).