Wednesday 22 October 2014

Quinn family members have given 'inherently improbable' reasons for movements of money, court hears

Quinn family members ordered to provide sworn affidavits outlining explanations for 63 transactions

Published 03/06/2014 | 13:29

Bankrupt businessman Sean Quinn arriving at the Criminal Courts of Justice with his daughter, Brenda Quinn
Bankrupt businessman Sean Quinn outside the Criminal Courts of Justice with his daughter, Brenda Quinn.

Members of bankrupt businessman Sean Quinn's family have provided "inherently improbable" explanations concerning transactions involving the movement of substantial sums between national and international accounts in 2011 and 2012, the receivers appointed over the Quinns accounts and assets have told the Commercial Court.

On consent of the Quinns today, Mr Justice Peter Kelly made orders under which various members of the family are to provide sworn affidavits outlining their explanations for 63 transactions.

The judge heard the Quinns have provided some 5,511 documents, plus attachments, they consider relevant and 277,411 documents, plus attachments, they consider irrelevant. The receivers counsel Michael Collins SC said they want various persons to be permitted inspect both the relevant and allegedly irrelevant documents but that matter could be dealt with at another date.,

Separately, the judge was told by Charlotte Simpson BL, for the Quinns, they "strongly and strenously" deny allegations made to Irish Bank Resolution Corporation by unidentified informants that instructions were provided to others for the movement of some €500m Quinn assets beyond the bank's reach.

The first the Quinns knew of those allegations was from media reports on Friday of matters mentioned by IBRC's lawyers to the court, counsel said.

Mr Justice Kelly said he had been told by counsel for IBRC about applications in other jurisdictions arising from the allegations of the informants but was not asked to make any orders. The Quinns were entitled to see all the material related to the matters mentioned to him, he said. 

Ms Simpson made the comments after the judge had dealt with the application by Mr Collins, for receivers Declan Taite and Sharon Barrett, to adjounr the receivers' application, listed for hearing today, concerning whether the Quinns have adequately explained the 63 trasnactions identified by the receivers. His clients were not happy with the explanations provided to date and considered some of those "inherently improbable", counsel said.

The receiver has sought explanations including why accounts jointly held by Ciara Quinn and some of her children were used for "an enormous level" of transactions to national and international accounts.

The payments referred to include a €735,000 credit payment, dated May 2011, from the account of a wind farm company to an account held by Ciara Quinn and a daughter of Ms Quinn.  Another payment, dated January 2012, was a €320,000 debit transfer to an account in Dubai with the beneficiary named as Market Study Solar Energy. 

Other payments were substantial six figure debit payments made to lawyers while a credit payment of some €320,000 was also made in April 2012 to Ciara Quinn's own account from an account of a company in Dubai.

Mr Justice Peter Kelly noted the receivers contended the material disclosed to date on foot of an agreed court order of February 27th was not satisfactory and they wanted a range of matters put on affidavit. 

After a short adjournment to take  instructions from Sean Quinn Jnr and Niall McPartland, who were in court, Ms Simpson said affidavits would be sworn in relation to disclosure matters set out in a letters from the Quinns of May 8th last.

The judge noted, following the May 8th letter, the receivers had raised futher queries and those matters were to be responded to later this month. The Quinns wanted to respond by letter but the receiver may apply at a later stage to have them do so by affidavit, he noted.

The judge said he would not decide at this point whether further affidavits would have to be sworn because, before he could do so, he would have had to decide the disclosure to date was inadequate. No such determination had been made as of now as the sides had agree to adjourn to June 30th the receiver's claim of inadequate disclosure to allow the Quinns reply to the queries raised.

The receiver has also expressed dissatisfaction with the explanation provided by Stepehen Kelly, husband of Aoife Quinn, as to how a laptop provided by him for analysis was devoid of any data and overridden by the letter w.

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