The insolvent entrepreneur and criminal liability
Under Italian Law, criminal liability of the insolvent entrepreneur is regulated by Bankruptcy Law (Legge Fallimentare), which has recently been updated by the Italian Code on Insolvency.
The Code on insolvency has renewed Italian insolvency proceedings and has also changed the terms of bankruptcy (fallimento) to judicial liquidation (liquidazione giudiziale).
However, it has left the criminal liability related to insolvency unchanged.
The first part of the Code on insolvency regulates crimes committed by an entrepreneur in judicial liquidation/bankruptcy. The crimes are:
- Fraudulent bankruptcy (Art. 322): an entrepreneur may be imprisoned from three to ten years if he has:
- destroyed, concealed or hidden all or part of the assets of the company, or declared non-existent debts in order to damage its creditors;
- stolen, destroyed or falsified all or part of the accounting books in order to damage creditors or to obtain an unfair profit.
- Simply bankruptcy (Art. 323): an entrepreneur may be imprisoned from six months to two years if he has:
- Incurred personal or family expenses that are excessive in relation to his economic condition;
- Wasted assets of the company in clearly imprudent operations;
- Increased its insolvency and delayed the declaration of bankruptcy;
- Not satisfied obligations of a previous bankruptcy.
- Abusive recourse to credit (Art. 325): an entrepreneur may be imprisoned from six months to three years if he asked for new credit by concealing his insolvency;
- Declaration of non-existent creditors (Art. 327): an entrepreneur may be imprisoned from six months to one year if he indicates in documents of the company the existence of non-existent creditors.