A bankrupt has been given a three year jail sentence for offences including obtaining property by deception, concealing debts and forgery.
Terry Patten pleaded guilty at Bournemouth County Court (sitting at Dorchester) in 18 June to seven charges, following an investigation by the Insolvency Service and a full criminal investigation by the Department of Business Innovation and Skills.
The investigation found Patten obtained £38,000 from two individuals in order to purchase two vehicles for his company – but pocketed the money instead.
Patten was declared bankrupt in April 2007, but concealed debts to two of his creditors worth £140,000, preventing them from making a claim in his bankruptcy.
Both creditors were people who had loaned Patten money he claimed he needed to expand his business. This proved to be untrue, as the money was never used for this purpose.
Deputy chief investigating officer, Liam Mannall, from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills said: “Over a period of time Mr Patten displayed a pattern of dishonesty and deceit which continued during his bankruptcy. The sentence imposed clearly reflects the courts view of the seriousness of such misconduct.
“Bankruptcy is a resort for those seeking relief from overwhelming debt. In return, such individuals are required to be open and honest about their debts and their assets, Mr Patten was not.
“The Department for Business Innovation and Skills will rigorously pursue those who attempt to abuse the bankruptcy regime, as Mr Patten has found to his cost.”