Victorian man charged after allegedly borrowing large sums of money while bankrupt

A Victorian man has been charged with 3 offences under the Bankruptcy Act, after allegedly accessing more than $600,000 in credit from a business partner without disclosing his bankruptcy.

Mr Walter Hakmeh will face the Melbourne Magistrates Court in February 2022. If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 3 years’ imprisonment for each charge.

Mr Hakmeh was declared bankrupt in July 2010 following a petition from creditors. Between September 2010 and February 2011, while an undischarged bankrupt, Mr Hakmeh is alleged to have received three payments totalling $600,000 from a former business partner to be put towards a proposed property development.

It is alleged that in his dealings with his former business partner after July 2010, Mr Hakmeh did not disclose his bankruptcy.

The business partner was unaware of Mr Hakmeh’s financial situation until late in 2014, after Mr Hakmeh had defaulted on payments.

To date, only a small portion of funds have been returned to the business partner.

The Australian Financial Security Authority’s Acting Deputy Chief Executive, Peter Edwards, highlighted the importance of individuals meeting the requirements of their bankruptcy.

‘The insolvency system in Australia is built on integrity and any misuse of the system is taken seriously,’ Mr Edwards said.

‘If you are declared bankrupt, you must meet a range of obligations for the duration of your bankruptcy – including revealing your bankruptcy status if applying for credit over a set amount.’

‘Failing to do so is a criminal offence and you can be prosecuted.’

More information about the requirements of bankruptcy, including information about accessing loans or credit, is available on the AFSA website.