On 27 November 2019, Mr Gordon Wilson Ramsay, pleaded guilty in the Caboolture Magistrates Court to disposing of property within 12 months of going bankrupt with intent to defraud his creditors.
Mr Ramsay, also known as Gordon James Austin, was convicted and released on recognizance of $2,500 on the condition that he be of good behaviour for a period of 2 years.
In sentencing, Magistrate Hasted took into account the defendant's timely guilty plea, and lack of relevant or recent criminal history. His Honour noted that general and specific deterrence are important sentencing considerations in bankruptcy matters, as any fraudulent behaviour such as this affects the ability of lenders to make money available to the general public.
Mr Ramsay and his wife Deborah Austin filed for joint voluntary bankruptcy on 14 January 2014. The application was accepted by the Australian Government’s personal insolvency regulator, the Australian Financial Security Authority (AFSA), on 30 January 2014.
In the months prior to their voluntary bankruptcy, Mr Ramsay and Ms Austin sold their jointly-owned property. Mr Ramsay received in excess of $133,000 and subsequently withdrew the funds.
Mr Ramsay told his bankruptcy trustee that he used $84,000 to repay family members who had loaned him money in the past, and that he had spent the rest.
AFSA’s analysis of Mr Ramsay’s bank account revealed that one week prior to his voluntary bankruptcy application, he withdrew $25,000 in cash and by cheque. At the same time he still owed $21,509 to his creditors.
The disposal of these funds was for the purpose of defrauding some of his known creditors.
The matter was prosecuted by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions on behalf of AFSA.
Mr Ramsay remains an undischarged bankrupt until 31 January 2022.
Bankruptcy Act 1966 (Cth)
Mr Ramsay pleaded guilty to one charge under section 266(3) of the Bankruptcy Act 1966 (Cth).
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 Of those charges, 11 were withdrawn, 122 proven with conviction, 4 proven without conviction, 7 were dismissed and 1 not proven.