Press release

Jail for bankrupt who tried to hide assets from Official Receiver

Tahseen Goni, aged 39 from Luton, has been sentenced to 6 months imprisonment after being found guilty of concealing property from the Official Receiver, following a trial at Luton Crown Court.

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The conviction follows an initial investigation by the Insolvency Service and a full criminal investigation and prosecution by the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS).

In October 2008 Mr Goni, a previously successful ‘spread betting’ trader, incurred substantial losses and was left with a debit balance of £238,021.30 on his personal account with IG Markets Ltd. IG Markets - a company providing financial spread betting, Contracts for Difference (CFDs), stockbroking and foreign exchange services - obtained judgment in default against Mr Goni and threatened bankruptcy.

Mr Goni then began to put in place arrangements which were designed to enable him to continue to trade in the lead up to and following his impending bankruptcy. Those arrangements involved him making use of both trading accounts and bank accounts in the name of his sister, Sharmine Goni.

For a long time this scheme succeeded and Mr Goni was able, despite his bankruptcy in July 2010 with total deficiencies of £301,000, to avoid paying his creditors even though the reality of the position was that he had substantial monies and in due course made very substantial further sums from successful trading. By the end of 2012 Mr Goni had made more than £6 million.

Deputy Chief Investigation Officer Ian West from the Department for Business Innovation and Skills said:

This is the second time during the course of his bankruptcy that Mr Goni has been found guilty in respect of concealing his assets to the Official Receiver so it is not surprising that he now faces a custodial sentence.

This should serve as a warning to others that the Insolvency Service and the Department for Business will take firm action when individuals who are the subject of Bankruptcy proceedings conceal assets from the Official Receiver to the detriment of creditors.

Following the conviction, BIS have initiated confiscation proceedings against Mr Goni.

Notes to editors

Tahseen Goni is of Bedfordshire and his date of birth is 7 June 1975.

Mr Goni was made bankrupt on 27 July 2010 on a petition filed against him by IG Markets Ltd.

A Contract For Difference (CFD) is a contract between two parties, typically described as “buyer” and “seller”, stipulating that the seller will pay to the buyer the difference between the current value of an asset and its value at contract time (If the difference is negative, then the buyer pays instead to the seller).

The Insolvency Service administers the insolvency regime, investigating all compulsory liquidations and individual insolvencies (bankruptcies) through the Official Receiver to establish why they became insolvent. It may also use powers under the Companies Act 1985 to conduct confidential fact-finding investigations into the activities of live limited companies in the UK. In addition, the agency authorises and regulates the insolvency profession, deals with disqualification of directors in corporate failures, assesses and pays statutory entitlement to redundancy payments when an employer cannot or will not pay employees, provides banking and investment services for bankruptcy and liquidation estate funds and advises ministers and other government departments on insolvency law and practice.

Further information about the work of the Insolvency Service, and how to complain about financial misconduct, is available.

BIS’ mission is to build a dynamic and competitive UK economy, in particular by creating the conditions for business success and promoting an open global economy. The Criminal Investigations and Prosecutions team contributes to this aim by taking action to deter fraud and to regulate the market. They investigate and prosecute a range of offences, primarily relating to personal or company insolvencies. Further information about the work of the Criminal Investigations and Prosecutions team is available.

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Published 5 October 2015