A Wellington bankrupt hoodwinked authorities by changing his name and having debts written off.
Tony Knight, in his mid-20s, has been ordered to complete 150 hours of community service and was ordered to pay reparation of $3537 for seven Insolvency Act offences.
That includes misleading the Official Assignee, which is the authority that manages personal insolvencies.
"Mr Knight committed a number of serious offences including failing to notify the Official Assignee of a change in name, making a false or misleading statement to the Official Assignee in relation to an application for entry into the No Asset Procedure, and incurring debt whilst bankrupt," says Robyn Cox, national manager Insolvency and Trustee Service.
The No Asset Procedure is an alternative to bankruptcy under which people with debts under $47,000 receive the opportunity of a fresh start by having most of their debts written off. It is only available once and cannot be used by someone previously bankrupt.
"The defendant changed his name from Kyle Woods to Tony Knight and was then able to have a second No Asset Procedure, writing off debts incurred while he was still an undischarged bankrupt.
Knight's participation in the No Asset Procedure was terminated when the Official Assignee discovered the name change.
"The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) takes this kind of offending against the integrity of the insolvency legislation very seriously. It is simply not acceptable for someone to change their name and take advantage of the system," she said.
"Bankruptcy and No Asset Procedure are designed to give genuine debtors a fresh start, which is crucial to counteracting the significant negative impacts of unmanageable debt on people, both socially and economically.
"When individuals blatantly misuse that opportunity they commit a serious form of offending, not just against their creditors but against the community as well."