Former Senator’s bankruptcy conviction upheld after appeal

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The conviction under the Bankruptcy Act of Mr Rodney Culleton, a former Senator for Western Australia, will stand, after his appeal was denied by the Supreme Court of Western Australia.

In April 2019 Mr Culleton was convicted, fined $2,000 and ordered to pay costs for failing to file a Statement of Affairs. Mr Culleton became bankrupt by order of the court on 23 December 2016 but refused to accept the ruling or cooperate with the administrative process for managing a bankruptcy.

Mr Culleton filed his appeal submissions in October 2020, with a decision to dismiss the appeal being handed down by Her Honour Justice Archer on 13 August 2021.

Australian Financial Security Authority (AFSA) Deputy Chief Executive, Gavin McCosker, highlighted the importance of cooperating with the personal insolvency system.

‘It’s important for those who’ve been declared bankrupt by court order to meet their obligations, including the submission of a Statement of Affairs,’ Mr McCosker said.

‘Failing to do so can extend your bankruptcy indefinitely, putting extra stress and pressure on both you and the creditors who are owed money.

‘AFSA will take action against those who are deliberately misusing or avoiding the system, and will seek convictions where appropriate – as was done in this case.’

While Mr Culleton’s bankruptcy commenced on the day of the court order in December 2016, his failure to submit the Statement of Affairs means that his bankruptcy will continue.