Friday 2 December 2016

The 25 people who knew of Quinn's giant Anglo loans?

Quinn family point the finger in massive lawsuit over tycoon's disastrous bank borrowings, writes Tom Lyons

Published 22/01/2012 | 05:00

THE family of Sean Quinn is pursuing a blockbuster discovery motion against IBRC, formerly Anglo Irish Bank, in an attempt to find out who knew what and when in relation to their father's colossal €2.8bn borrowings from the bank.

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The discovery motion has identified 25 people whom the family believes were "key personnel" and were "likely involved at material times" in relation to Sean Quinn's borrowings which forced him to go bankrupt last week.

The family hopes to prove that a significant part of their father's borrowings was loaned illegally by Anglo in order to artificially support its share price -- and therefore should not be repaid.

The motion is seeking to look at all loans advanced to their father and the family from 2003, when the Quinns first started to use Anglo to build up an international property portfolio, up until their father's disastrous punting on the bank's shares from 2006 until 2008.

It is particularly focused on how Sean Quinn's 28 per cent position in Anglo was unwound, with 15 per cent placed in the hands of Quinn family members and 10 per cent placed with a so-called "golden circle" of 10 long-standing clients of the bank.

It also wants to find out at what stage the bank realised it was insolvent, and what the bank knew about the financial strength of the Quinn Group when it loaned them money.

The names identified by the Quinns as being of interest to their discovery motion include executives such as former CEO David Drumm, former finance director Willie McAteer and Matt Moran, the bank's former chief financial officer.

They are also seeking to discover exactly what the bank's board knew by seeking discovery against documents relating to former chairman Sean FitzPatrick; Gary McGann, the current chief executive of Smurfit Kappa; Donal O'Connor, the former managing partner of PwC; and the bank's other board members.

Lower level staff who dealt with the Quinns are also targeted, including Elma Kinane and Michael O'Sullivan, who worked on their account directly during the financial crisis.

The Quinns have also sought information relating to former Anglo employees Catherine Mullarkey and Owen O'Neill.

Anglo has told the Quinns that as Mullarkey and O'Neill stopped working with the bank in 2004 and 2005 respectively, they should be excluded from any discovery motion.

Mullarkey's father Paddy, a former secretary-general of the Department of Finance, sat on the board of Quinn Insurance, but the Quinns' discovery motion relates to her historic role as a lender in the bank.

The discovery motion also seeks information about four individuals who are not employees of the bank. These include Alan Gray, the managing director of Indecon, who attended a post golfing dinner between Mr FitzPatrick and Brian Cowen, the then Taoiseach, in July 2007.

IBRC said it did not believe any of these four non-employees had "any relevance to the matters at issue", and that it was "extremely unlikely" the bank was in possession of any documents in relation to them. Mr Gray has said previously he never discussed Sean Quinn with any employee of Anglo Irish Bank.

Correspondence between the Quinn lawyers and IBRC's McCann FitzGerald reveal the haggling between both sides in order to allow up to 100,000 documents relating to their loans be released.

IBRC has told the Quinns it has agreed to grant them access to 60,000 documents, with the cost of providing this information estimated at between €500,000 and €600,000.

However, it said that granting the Quinns access to all the documents they have requested would push the number up to 100,000 and the cost to €1m.

The bank describes the discovery request as being "extraordinarily broad".

The bank is also seeking to limit the dates of the discovery to October 2008, the last date the bank lent the Quinns money in relation to Contracts for Difference.

The Quinns want this extended until March 2009, to include the bank's first set of accounts after it was nationalised in January 2009.

Sunday Indo Business

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