Bankruptcy Act 1988
Punishment of fraudulent debtors.
(1872, c. 57, s. 11; 33/1963, s. 293)
123.— (1) Subject to subsection (2), if a bankrupt or arranging debtor—
( a) fails to disclose to the Court, or to the Official Assignee or to such person or persons as the Court from time to time directs, all his property and how and to whom and for what consideration and when he disposed of any part thereof, except such part as has been disposed of in the ordinary way of his trade (if any) or laid out in the ordinary expense of his family, or
( b) fails to deliver up to the Official Assignee, or as he or the Court directs, all such part of his property as is in his possession or under his control, and which he is required by law to deliver up, or
F89 [ (c) fails to deliver up to the Official Assignee, or as he or the Court directs, all books, papers and records (including copies of such books, papers and records held in electronic form) in his possession or under his control relating to his estate and which he is required by law to deliver up, or ]
( d) conceals any part of his property to the value of F90 [ € 650 ] or upwards, or conceals any debt due to or from him, or
( e) fraudulently removes any part of his property to the value of F90 [ € 650 ] or upwards, or
( f) fails to file or deliver a statement of affairs as required by section 19(c) or makes any material omission in any statement relating to his affairs, or
( g) knowing or believing that a false debt has been proved by any person under the bankruptcy or arrangement, fails for the period of a month to inform the Official Assignee thereof, or
F89 [ (h) prevents the production of any book, paper or record (including copies of any book, paper or record held in electronic form) affecting or relating to his estate, or ]
F89 [ (i) conceals, destroys, mutilates or falsifies or is privy to the concealment, destruction, mutilation or falsification of any book, paper or record (including any such book, paper or record held in electronic form) affecting or relating to his estate, or ]
F89 [ (j) makes or is privy to the making of any false entry in any book, paper or record (including any such book, paper or record held in electronic form) affecting or relating to the estate, or ]
( k) fraudulently parts with, alters or makes any omission in, or is privy to the fraudulent parting with, altering or making any omission in, any document affecting or relating to his estate, or
( l) attempts to account for any part of his property by fictitious losses or expenses, or
( m) obtains, by any fraud or false representation, any property on credit, or
( n) obtains, under the false pretence of carrying on business and, if a trader, of dealing in the ordinary way of his trade, any property on credit, or
( o) pawns, pledges or disposes of any property which he has obtained on credit, unless, in the case of a trader, such pawning, pledging or disposing is in the ordinary way of his trade, or
( p) is guilty of any fraud or false representation for the purpose of obtaining the consent of his creditors or any of them to an agreement with reference to his affairs or the bankruptcy or arrangement;
he shall be guilty of an offence.
(2) It shall be a good defence to a charge under any of paragraphs (a), (b), (c), (d), (f), (n) and (o) of subsection (1) if the accused proves that he had no intent to defraud and to a charge under any of paragraphs (h), (i) and (j) of that subsection if he proves that he had no intent to conceal the state of his affairs or to defeat the law.
(3) ( a) A person (other than a bankrupt or arranging debtor) who, with intent to defraud his creditors, does any of the acts mentioned in paragraphs (e), (i), (j), (k), (l), (m), (n) or (o) of subsection (1), shall be guilty of an offence and for this purpose references in paragraphs (e) or (k) to an act which is fraudulent or is committed fraudulently shall be construed as references to an act done with intent to defraud creditors.
( b) Where a person referred to in paragraph (a) of this subsection does an act therein specified within F91 [ 3 years ] next before he is adjudicated or granted an order for protection, it shall be presumed until the contrary is proved that the act was done with intent to defraud his creditors.
(4) Where any person pawns, pledges or disposes of any property in circumstances which amount to an offence under paragraph (o) of subsection (1) or under subsection (3), every person who takes in pawn or pledge or otherwise receives the property knowing it to be pawned, pledged or disposed of in such circumstances as aforesaid shall also be guilty of an offence and shall be liable to be punished in the same way as if he had been guilty of an offence under the said paragraph (o) or subsection (3).