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R v Andrew John Camilleri (2018)

Mr Camilleri was unanimously convicted on 29 January 2018, following a private prosecution, of making false representations in an IVA, contrary to s262 IA 1986. The prosecution was brought by one of his creditors.

If Mr Camilleri’s IVA had been approved, it would have wiped out all of his debts (in excess of £9m) and paid his creditors a small fraction of their debt back in the way of dividends. It was the prosecution’s case that between 18 February and 17 March 2011, Mr Camilleri made a series of false representations in this proposal.

During 2007 and 2008, Mr Camilleri incurred a large amount of debt by obtaining money from his creditors to fund his property empire. He requested short-term bridging loans (often for a matter of weeks) and offered his creditors security against the properties he was buying. Instead of repaying the money and interest under the loans, he convinced his creditors to release further funds in order for him to buy further properties. He also eventually informed them that there was no security against the properties for their loans.

In order to defend Bankruptcy proceedings brought by his creditors, he prepared an IVA proposal on 18 February 2011. This proposal pretended to set out his total assets and debts, and was presented to his creditors on 17 March 2011. He had stated that he had no assets, but that his cousin would lend him £100,000 to inject into the IVA to pay creditors.

He stated his total unsecured creditors were £5.7m, and they would receive 1.29p in the £.

It was discovered that Mr Camilleri had not declared all of his debts, which were substantially more than £5.7m. Had the true creditor figures been included in the proposal, his creditors would not have seen anything like the paltry 1.29p in the £ promised.

Mr Camilleri had declared in his IVA proposal that he owned all of the shares in Fresh Start Living Limited and that these shares had nominal value. The prosecution produced evidence that that company had £1.125m in one of its bank accounts, just months after he had presented his IVA proposal. Evidence also showed that during the year 2011, that company’s fixed asset register included various luxury vehicles such as a Maserati and an Aston Martin.

Mr Camilleri left for Switzerland on the last day of trial, before the jury returned their verdict. He was sentenced to a custodial sentence of 12 months, suspended for 12 months, and a £10,000 fine.

He had placed every obstacle in the way of the private prosecution since the case commenced in April 2015 in order to attempt to prevent him from answering the offence of which he was charged.

Posted: 01.03.2018
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