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Thinking of separating? Just don’t do this..

Half a million dollars taken from de facto partner’s company

A Brisbane woman withdrew more than $500,000 from her millionaire partner’s company bank account to “put herself in a better position” ahead of their relationship separation.

The couple were in a de facto relationship for approximately 14 years and the woman was the bookkeeper for at least one of her partner’s companies. She withdrew the money via electronic banking.

The woman’s lawyer confirmed in writing to the man’s lawyer that “$500,000 was removed”.

Possible criminal law consequences

The admission raised real questions about the woman’s criminal responsibility for the misappropriation of the funds. Many people involved in family law proceedings are unaware that taking money from a company run by their partner may be an offence that may result in criminal charges, a conviction and a criminal record.

Court orders repayment of money

The Supreme Court ordered the woman to pay back $520,186 after Supreme Court Justice Peter Davis ruled there seemed “little doubt” she took the money from her partner’s property development company between March and June this year.

Obtain advice before acting

It is always wise to consult a qualified family lawyer when separation is being considered to obtain proper legal advice and to avoid taking steps that may cause legal problems.



This article was written by Margaret Miller, partner at Bell Legal Group. It is general in nature, is not legal advice and must not be relied on as such. If you need assistance relating to the topics discussed, please contact Margaret to obtain advice specific to your circumstances. Call 07 5597 3366 or send an email to mmiller@belllegal.com.au