Man defrauds bank to grab loan for Audi

A MAN who claimed he had assets of more than $4 million, in order to get a loan for a new Audi before filing for bankruptcy the next day, has been placed on a Commonwealth good behaviour bond.

Michael Joseph Costigan, 57, pleaded guilty at the Ipswich District Court to obtaining credit by fraud whilst bankrupt.

The court heard on July 16, 2008, Costigan, who was in massive debt, claimed he had an investment house worth $3.8m as well as hundreds of thousands of dollars of cash and house contents.

In truth he had about $160,000 in debt in the form of personal loans and credit cards.

By fraudulently claiming these assets and a complete lack of debt, he was approved for a new Audi worth nearly $60,000 through St George Bank.

The next day Costigan applied for bankruptcy.

The court heard Costigan, who had been a successful property developer, lost almost everything during a divorce.

The house and assets he claimed to obtain the car, he had owned before his divorce.

For the next two years Costigan kept the Audi and made payments on it, until he told the trustee about it, the court was told.

The Insolvency and Trustee Service Australia (ITSA) was informed and began investigations. The court heard he made "significant admissions" to ITSA.

The court heard Costigan was desperate and needed a new car for a job.

Judge Greg Koppenol said while he accepted Costigan was under severe stress, he had significantly defrauded St George.

"You completed an application for credit. This application was grossly exaggerated in terms of assets," he said.

"You clearly knew what you were doing was wrong and fraudulent."

The car has since been reclaimed and sold.

Costigan was sentenced to a $1000 Commonwealth good behaviour bond for two years with a 12-month prison sentence dependant on upholding the bond.


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