A bankrupt has been sentenced to six months imprisonment for avoiding payments to creditors, following an investigation by the Insolvency Service.
James Ferguson was also investigated, and prosecuted, by the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills, after transferring cash to his partner to avoid his creditors.
Mike Williams, deputy chief investigation officer, said: “By choosing to remove funds from his estate, Mr Ferguson not only placed his property outside the reach of his creditors and his trustee in bankruptcy, he also sought to undermine the bankruptcy regime by circumventing an order of the court.
“By imposing this jail term, the Court has sent a message that it treats seriously those who seek to undermine the proper administration of justice.”
The investigation found that Ferguson had transferred £29,920 to his partner, Gillian Calvert, in order to put the funds out of reach of two creditors.
Less than two weeks later he declared himself bankrupt in an effort to dispose of the creditors’ claims against him.
Ferguson was convicted of one charge of fraudulently disposing of an asset and ordered to pay £4,500 costs.
Ferguson had worked as a business transfer agent, buying and selling businesses particularly within the leisure sector, although falling property values forced him to sell at a loss.
Following claims from creditors to pay his debts, Ferguson instead transferred funds, including those generated from the sale of his home, to his partner, claiming he did not have sufficient funds to pay.
Ferguson, 48, from High Eldwick, Bingley, was convicted at Bradford Crown Court on 29 April 2013.