Business Irish

Friday 2 December 2016

Businessman transferred €820,000 and property to wife, AIB claims

Tim Healy

Published 10/05/2016 | 02:30

The bank says, between July 2013 and July 2014 Mr McGuinness transferred four sums totalling €820,926 to his wife. Photo: Getty Images/Ingram Publishing
The bank says, between July 2013 and July 2014 Mr McGuinness transferred four sums totalling €820,926 to his wife. Photo: Getty Images/Ingram Publishing

A BUSINESSMAN - against whom AIB obtained a €3.48m judgment last March - had transferred €820,000 and a property in the US to his wife with the intention of defrauding creditors, it has been claimed in the Commercial Court.

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Property developer Garech McGuinness, of Whispering Pines, Ennis, Co Clare, and his business partner Patrick Taylor, Moyreisk, Quin, also Clare, had the judgment entered against them after a judge found they had not met the test necessary to establish an arguable defence to AIB's claim for judgment arising out of default on loans.

Now, the bank says, between July 2013 and July 2014 Mr McGuinness transferred four sums totalling €820,926 to his wife, Justine McGuinness.

He also, around July 2014, transferred to her "for a nominal consideration" a residential property in Massachusetts, which the bank believes was worth not less than €250,000, the court was told.

Lynne Allen, AIB team leader in its corporate and commercial litigation section, said the transfers were effected "with the dominant intention of defrauding creditors", including the bank. She also said, in an affidavit, they were done without reference or notice to the bank.

They were also at a time when Mr McGuinness was in significant default of his obligations to AIB and when he was actively trying to restructure his borrowings, Ms Allen said.

Mr Justice Brian McGovern yesterday admitted the case to the Commercial Court list, on consent between the parties, and adjourned it until October.

Mr McGuinness and Mr Taylor originally got the loans from AIB in 2011. They fell into arrears and the bank demanded repayment in 2015. There were still no further payments and AIB sought judgment. The men claimed they had an arguable defence against summary judgment, and the case should got to full hearing, because the original loans were supplanted by a revised 2013 loan agreement.

They claimed the alleged default over the loans was "completely manufactured" because the men were led to believe by an AIB official the bank was satisfied with obtaining security for the loans over two sites in Ennis as a condition for the revised 2013 facilities. The bank said the revised agreement never came into effect because the defendants failed to take the necessary steps to create a charge over the Ennis sites which they had offered as security.

In March, Mr Justice McGovern ruled the bank was entitled to summary judgment.

Irish Independent

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