Commonwealth Consolidated Acts

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Failure to keep proper books of account

  (1)   A person who has become a bankrupt after the commencement of this Act and:

  (a)   has not kept such books, accounts and records as are usual and proper in any business carried on by him or her and as sufficiently disclose his or her business transactions and financial position during any period while the business was being carried on within the period of 5 years immediately preceding the date on which he or she became a bankrupt; or

  (b)   having kept such books, accounts or records, has not preserved them;

commits an offence and is punishable, upon conviction:

  (c)   in the case of a person who has previously been either a bankrupt whose bankruptcy has not been annulled or a person whose affairs have been administered under a personal insolvency agreement, a deed of assignment or a deed of arrangement under this Act or the repealed Act or who has made a composition or arrangement with creditors under this Act or the repealed Act--by imprisonment for a period not exceeding 3 years; and

  (d)   in the case of any other person--by imprisonment for a period not exceeding 1 year.

  (2)   It is a defence to a prosecution under subsection   (1) if the accused proves that in the circumstances his or her failure to keep or preserve the books, accounts or records was honest and excusable.

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