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Gurpal Singh Atwal (47), of Oadby, Leicester was a self-employed taxi driver and former councillor for Oadby and Wigston Borough Council before becoming bankrupt in November 2017, having presented his own petition.

However, investigators from the Insolvency Service found that after the bankruptcy order, Gurpal Atwal transferred £600,000 worth of land he owned in India to family members, as well as gifting £86,410 from the sale of his property in Leicester.

Working alongside Gurpal Atwal’s trustees, who were appointed to his bankruptcy estate, investigators could see that he received no payment and that meant that Gurpal Atwal’s creditors received no benefit from the property transfers despite having a claim.

Gurpal Atwal ought to have been aware that he should not have made these transfers as he would have been notified of the restrictions he was entering into on the making of the bankruptcy order.

The property transfers also took place within two months of an order for payment was made against Gurpal Atwal in October 2017, connected to a business-related claim against him, and which remained unpaid at the time he declared himself bankrupt.

As a result of the Insolvency Service investigation, Gurpal Atwal has had his bankruptcy restrictions extended to nine years and has increased the time he is not allowed to carry out certain activities, such as borrowing money over £500 without first disclosing his status.

Gerard O’Hare, Official Receiver for the Insolvency Service, said:

Mr Atwal on two separate occasions, whilst insolvent, cynically disposed of assets to his relatives and to the detriment of his creditors generally.

This nine year restriction should act as a deterrent to him and others from acting in the same way.

All public enquiries concerning the affairs of the bankrupt should be made to: The Official Receiver, Level One Apex Court City Link Nottingham NG2 4LA Tel: 0115 852 5000

Notes to editors

The bankruptcy order was made on 10 November 2017 following a petition presented by Mr Gurpal Singh Atwal on 9 November 2017.

Mr Atwal’s date of birth is October 1971.

These are restrictions set out in insolvency law that the bankrupt is subject to until they are discharged from bankruptcy. Further guidance is available on GOV.UK.

The Insolvency Service, an executive agency sponsored by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), administers the insolvency regime, and aims to deliver and promote a range of investigation and enforcement activities both civil and criminal in nature, to support fair and open markets. We do this by effectively enforcing the statutory company and insolvency regimes, maintaining public confidence in those regimes and reducing the harm caused to victims of fraudulent activity and to the business community, including dealing with the disqualification of directors in corporate failures.

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

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