Concealment or falsification of books and papers
Concealment or falsification of books and papers

The following Corporate Crime guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Concealment or falsification of books and papers
  • Proceedings for offences of concealment or falsification of books and papers
  • Elements of the offence of failing to deliver up books, papers and records
  • The official receiver or trustee
  • Delivering up books, papers and other records
  • Statutory defence to the offence of failing to deliver up books, papers and records
  • Sentencing for the offence of failing to deliver books, papers and records
  • Elements of the offence of concealing, destroying etc, books, papers or records and falsification
  • Statutory defence to the offence of concealing, destroying etc, books, papers or records and falsification
  • Sentencing for an offence of concealing, destroying etc, books, papers or records and falsification
  • more

Proceedings for offences of concealment or falsification of books and papers

The Insolvency Act 1984 (IA 1984) creates three specific offences relating to the concealment or falsification of records about the affairs or estate of a person who is bankrupt.

These are:

  1. failing deliver up books, papers and records

  2. concealing, destroying, books, papers, or records and falsification, and

  3. disposing, altering books, papers or records

All three offences are triable in the magistrates' court or the Crown Court.

For each offence, the burden is on the prosecution to prove that the defendant was 'bankrupt person' at the relevant time.

Proceedings for an offence charged under the IA 1986, s 355 can only be instituted by the Secretary of State or by, or with the consent of, the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Proceedings cannot be instituted after a bankruptcy order has been annulled and the bankrupt has been restored to his re-bankruptcy status.

Prior to annulment there is nothing to prevent the institution of proceedings.

The IA 1986 expressly provides that a bankrupt is not guilty of an offence in respect of any thing done after the discharge of the bankruptcy order.

Elements of the offence of failing to deliver up books, papers and records

A bankrupt person will commit the offence under the IA 1986, s 355(1) if they:

  1. fails to deliver to the