Press release

14-year bankruptcy restriction for bankrupt who lived the high life at expense of investors

A bankrupt who failed to invest funds given to him for that purpose has been hit with a 14-year bankruptcy restriction.


Robert Hiom was made bankrupt on 17 February 2014, following the presentation of his own petition.

On 23 June 2016, the Secretary of State accepted a Bankruptcy Restrictions Undertaking from Mr Hiom for a period of 14 years.

Mr Hiom’s undertaking means that he will be bound for 14 years, by the restrictions set out in insolvency law that a bankrupt is subject to until they are discharged from bankruptcy – normally 12 months – until 2030. In addition, he cannot manage or control a company during this period without leave of the court.

An Insolvency Service investigation found:

  • during the period November 2011 to June 2012, Mr Hiom obtained monies totaling £1,065,000 from third parties by false representation, in that he failed to use the monies for the purpose for which they were intended, that is, to invest
  • £504,463 of the third parties’ money was used for the purchase of a property in the joint names of Mr Hiom and a family member. The balance of monies were used to renovate the property, to gamble, to make repayments to creditors, including family members, holidays, business class flights and general expenditure
  • Only one repayment of £18,000 was made to the third parties.\

Justin Dionne, Official Receiver, stated:

The duration of the Bankruptcy Restrictions Undertaking against Mr Hiom reflects the severity of his misconduct, in that he used substantial third parties money to fund a luxury lifestyle.

Notes to editors

Mr Hiom’s date of birth is 25 June 1970. He is currently of no fixed abode.

If the Official Receiver considers that the conduct of a bankrupt has been dishonest or blameworthy in some other way, he (or she) will report the facts to court and ask for a Bankruptcy Restrictions Order (BRO) to be made. The court will consider this report and any other evidence put before it, and will decide whether it should make a BRO. If it does, the bankrupt will be subject to certain restrictions for the period stated in the order. This can be from 2 to 15 years.

The bankrupt may instead agree to a Bankruptcy Restrictions Undertaking (BRU) which has the same effect as an order, but will mean that the matter does not go to court.

These are restrictions set out in insolvency law that the bankrupt is subject to until they are discharged from bankruptcy – normally 12 months and include that bankrupts:

  • must disclose their status to a credit provider if they wish to get credit of more than £500
  • who carry on business in a different name from the name in which they were made bankrupt, they must disclose to those they wish to do business with the name (or trading style) under which they were made bankrupt
  • may not act as the director of a company nor take part in its promotion, formation or management unless they have a court’s permission to do so
  • may not act as an insolvency practitioner, or as the receiver or manager of the property of a company on behalf of debenture holders

Additionally, a person subject to a Bankruptcy Restrictions Order/Undertaking or a Debt Relief Restrictions Order/Undertaking, may not be a Member of Parliament in England or Wales.

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Published 2 September 2016