Saturday 1 November 2014

Sean Dunne bankruptcy case: court official asks, ‘is Sean still married?’

Cormac McQuinn

Published 10/06/2014 | 11:41

Sean Dunne and his wife Gayle Killilea. Photo: Tony Gavin
Sean Dunne and his wife Gayle Killilea. Photo: Tony Gavin
Developer Sean Dunne
Developer Sean Dunne

THE US trustee appointed to oversee developer Sean Dunne’s bankruptcy petition has questioned whether or not he is still married to his wife Gayle Killilea Dunne.

Bankruptcy trustee Richard Coan is seeking access to documents relating to “in-camera” family law proceedings in Ireland and Switzerland and queried the status of Mr Dunne’s marriage in court filings as part of this process.

In court filings, Mr Coan says the documents “may detail the transfers of tens of millions of euro to an insider – his wife (or ex-wife) Killilea Dunne.”

Mr Coan is investigating the transfer of more than €100m in assets to Ms Killilea Dunne  for “no or nominal consideration”.

Mr Dunne has previously refused to provide information on the family law cases, citing in-camera laws.

He is objecting to the bankruptcy trustee’s application for an order seeking to compel Mr Dunne to hand over details of all asset transfers worth more than $5,000.

Ms Killilea Dunne’s lawyer argued that she has privacy rights under Swiss law at a hearing in Connecticut, according to a report in the Irish Times. This entitles her to details of any information about her or her children sought by Mr Coan, it was claimed.

The Co Carlow developer filed for bankruptcy in the US last year, declaring debts of almost €1bn.

Mr Dunne was declared bankrupt by the High Court in Ireland last year in parallel proceedings.

Last December, he told a meeting of creditors how he gave Ms Killilea Dunne  €100m in 2005 in return for her “love and affection”.

He also got children, a happy marriage and his wife washed “the odd shirt” he told the US bankruptcy proceedings in Connecticut.

The agreement was drawn up on a trip to Thailand in 2005 with Mr Dunne saying he had struck a deal worth one-fifth of his assets at the time, estimated to be €500m.

The couple got married in 2004, famously celebrating on Aristotle Onassis’s former yacht.

They moved to the United States after the collapse of Mr Dunne’s property empire in Ireland.

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