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Bankrupt receives prison sentence for missing money

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A bankrupt has been jailed for his failure to account for a withdrawal of £47,500 from his bank account prior to his bankruptcy. Zeki Boztepe of Edmonton in North London petitioned the court to declare himself bankrupt on 23 September 2008. He claimed in an interview with the official receiver (OR) that he had borrowed around £18,000 from three creditors but that they had charged interest which resulted in repayments totalling between £30,000 and £35,000.

 

Following an investigation by the Insolvency Service and a full criminal investigation and prosecution by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) into his assets, Boztepe was unable to account for the cash withdrawals that he made in the 12 months leading up to his petition. He replied to a letter from the OR stating that he “used the drawings from the various accounts you have listed for normal living expenses”.

 

Boztepe added: “Because of threats received from my personal creditors, I had to draw money from my accounts and credit cards to pay them.”

 

But he refused to provide details of any of these creditors or explain why he owed them money on the basis that he feared for his family’s safety. Deputy chief investigation officer Liam Mannall from BIS said: “Individuals who borrow money and then resort to the protection of bankruptcy have a duty to give a truthful explanation to the official receiver as to how the money was spent.

 

“Mr Boztepe chose not to do so; as a result he now has a criminal conviction and could go to prison. This should be a warning to others considering similar actions.”

 

He was sentenced to four months imprisonment suspended for one year at Southwark Crown Court, 140 hours of unpaid work and ordered to pay costs of £2,500 within 12 months. In sentencing, HHJ Pegden QC called the charge “serious” but noted Boztepe’s previous “good character” and suspended his punishment.

 

Link: http://www.credittoday.co.uk/article/14594/online-news/bankrupt-receives-prison-sentence-for-missing-money


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