On 17 November 2017, Ms Thi Thu Hang Lam was sentenced at the Perth Magistrates Court for receiving property from a debtor who became bankrupt, with intent to defraud creditors.
Ms Lam was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment, to be released immediately on a $1000 good behaviour bond for two years.
Magistrate DeMaio noted the need for general deterrence, given that Ms Lam used the money to benefit herself, knowing that the bankrupt’s creditors would miss out.
Around August 2013, Ms Lam’s brother met with a registered trustee to prepare for bankruptcy. Ms Lam assisted her brother with the required paperwork.
In December 2013, Ms Lam’s brother became bankrupt via debtor’s petition.
In November 2013 Mr Lam’s home was repossessed and Ms Lam became aware that her brother would be entitled to $42,949.90 of surplus funds from the sale.
Ms Lam forged her brother’s signature and had his $42,949.90 transferred into her account. She then spent the money on herself and her family.
After initially pleading not guilty and having the matter listed for a three day trial, Ms Lam admitted committing the offences in an interview with AFSA investigators. On 13 October 2017, she attended the Perth Magistrates Court and changed her plea to guilty.
The matter was prosecuted by the Office of the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions on behalf of the Australian Financial Security Authority.