Press release

Milton Keynes bankrupt censured for giving house to her husband-to-be and hiding the fact from the Official Receiver

Ms Suzanne Majury (nee Sykes), aged 48, a bankrupt from Bletchley, has been sentenced to 8 months imprisonment, suspended for a period of 24 months.

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She was also ordered to pay a contribution towards the prosecution costs of £1,000.00. This was following a hearing at Aylesbury Crown Court after pleading guilty to transferring a residential property for no consideration to a man she married 10 months later and failing to disclose that disposal of property to the Official Receiver.

Ms Sykes 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).

The court heard that at the time of the transfer of the property, a tradesman creditor was owed over £85,000 for work completed at Mrs Sykes’ home and under a judgment debt. This sum remained unpaid by Ms Sykes and contributed to that creditor’s subsequent bankruptcy.

Suzanne Majury was declared bankrupt on 19 October 2012. As such, she had a duty to disclose to the Official Receiver all information required from her regarding any assets. In spite of being made aware of this, she failed to reveal that she had transferred ownership of the property to her husband-to-be ahead of the bankruptcy order.

Glenn Wicks, the officer in charge of the BIS investigation, said:

Ms Majury knew when she was made bankrupt that had an obligation to disclose she owned this property and that had been honest, the tradesman who fitted her kitchen could have been paid from the sale of the house. Instead, she deliberately chose not to speak up and the kitchen fitter himself was made bankrupt as a result.

Notes to editors

Suzanne Majury, in her bankruptcy order of 19 October 2012, was described as Suzanne Sykes, also known as Suzanne Majury, also known as Margaret Suzanne Sykes, also known as Margaret Suzanne McConnell. Her date of birth is 7 October 1967.

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.

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.

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Published 15 December 2015