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Bankrupt jailed for three years

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A former bankrupt has been given a three year sentence after pleading guilty to seven offences including obtaining property by deception, concealing debts and forgery. Terry Patten was sentenced following an investigation by the Insolvency Service and a subsequent criminal investigation by the Department of Business Innovation and Skills.

Patten was declared bankrupt in 2007 but concealed debts worth £140,000 to two of his creditors, preventing them from making a claim in his bankruptcy. He had claimed the money was required to expand his business however this proved to be untrue. In addition, the investigation found that a claim by Patten that he had borrowed money from two individuals to purchase vehicles for his company was false and he had in fact kept the money personally.

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 court’s view of the seriousness of such misconduct”

He added: “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 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”.

Stephensons’ specialist insolvency solicitors can provide advice and assistance to people facing bankruptcy or those already subject to a bankruptcy order.

By Nicola Whittle, insolvency solicitor