independent

Saturday 19 April 2014

Bomb victim's son sued for €115m in dispute over oil deal

American firm claims agreement was broken

THE son of a terrorist bombing victim is being sued for $162m (€115m) by an American company over an alleged fee relating to an oil distribution deal.

Ed O' Neill, of Attracta Road, Cabra, Dublin, is being sued along with his wife Sandra over an alleged failure to honour an agreement to share a $300m (€213m) consulting fee.

The fee was linked to a deal by Russian and Venezuelan corporations to distribute oil to a Turkish corporation.

The proceedings have been brought by Illinois firm CJN LLC, who claimed that Mr O'Neill was to distribute the money between various American beneficiaries but had initially claimed he could not transfer the funds.

It is also claimed that he later made several false claims -- including that the funds had been seized by the US Treasury and were "caught" up in an alleged investigation by the FBI into alleged links between corrupt bankers and Colombian drug cartels.

It was also claimed Mr O'Neill had said he was working with a friend in the Central Intelligence Agency ( CIA) to sort the matter out.

Last night, Mr O'Neill, who was part of a major lawsuit to force the Government to hand over sensitive files on the 1974 Dublin-Monaghan bombings, told the Irish Independent that the matter had been fully investigated by the garda fraud squad.

"I have full proof, in writing, that I have been completely and utterly exonerated of any allegations of wrongdoing," he said.

When asked to comment on the extraordinary allegations, Mr O'Neill -- whose father Edward Snr was killed in the Dublin bombing -- said that the matter was sub judice and he could not make any further comment.

In the lawsuit, some of the beneficiaries claimed they, relying on representations from Mr O'Neill, had travelled to Zurich in Switzerland to meet him in April 2010.

They claimed the meeting was to concern transfer of the funds, but that Mr O'Neill never turned up, the funds were not transferred and the beneficiaries returned empty-handed.

It is claimed Mr O'Neill received $300m in late 2008 arising from his purported capacity as an agent for MDM Oil Ltd.

Money

It was alleged that, under an agreement of December 2008, the money was to have been shared with various US companies and others -- several of whom have now formed a company called CJN LLC, with head offices in Chicago, Illinois, to pursue their claims against the couple.

Proceedings were initiated in the US after the monies were not distributed and the papers were served by ABC Investigations Ltd on the defendants at their home in Cabra in July 2010.

On August 24, 2010, a court in Illinois granted partial judgment for about $151m against the defendants, plus interest at 9pc per annum.

The defendants did not contest those proceedings.

Yesterday, CJN LLC applied for the Commercial Court here to fast-track its proceedings aimed at enforcing that partial judgment, now standing about $162m.

However, Mr Justice Peter Kelly ruled it would have to proceed through the normal High Court list because of the delay in bringing the Irish proceedings.

Irish Independent

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