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Sunday 21 September 2014

Couple living in lavish $20,000-a-month mansion

Niamh Sweeney Greenwich, Connecticut

Published 06/10/2012 | 05:00

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THIS is the $20,000 (€15,300)-a-month luxury home that developer Sean Dunne and his socialite wife Gayle Killilea are living in, in the town of Greenwich, Connecticut -- home to America's super rich -- as they face a $230m (€185m) legal battle with NAMA in the American courts.

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The 16-room waterfront mansion, on Indian Field Road, Greenwich, belongs to the Russian-born billionaire Alexander Knaster, and is part of a private, gated community called Meade Point.

The property is on the market for $8m, down from an initial asking price of $11.5m.

The Irish Independent gained access to the exclusive community on Thursday and called to the Dunne home.

Ms Killilea answered the door in buoyant mood, exclaiming: "Hiya!"

However, she refused to answer any questions, quickly shutting the front door despite repeated attempts to engage her.

The Indian Field Road property is listed as the address of Mr Dunne in court documents pertaining to NAMA's case, which will proceed in a Connecticut court later this month.

Both Mr Dunne and Ms Killilea are listed as defendants in the NAMA action, along with their US lawyers Thomas J Heagney and John F Slane.

Listed with Sotheby's International Realty, the Colonial-style house boasts six bedrooms, a two-storey atrium, a glass floor feature, one formal dining room, a "family theatre room", an outdoor swimming pool, hot tub, pool house and outdoor dining area.

In court documents filed during the summer, NAMA states that the Dunnes "have continued to enjoy a lavish lifestyle in Greenwich, Connecticut, since relocating from Dublin, Ireland," in spite of a €185m High Court judgment against Mr Dunne in March.

NAMA is seeking to have the €185m March 12 High Court judgment against Mr Dunne enforced.

The document, lodged by NAMA's lawyers, says the case is based on Mr Dunne's "failure to repay numerous commercial loans advanced by Irish banks to Mr Dunne and his related entities during the last decade".

"Dunne and his wife, defendant Gayle Killilea Dunne, have utilised a number of lawyers, purportedly acting as trustees, and shell companies to hide assets from creditors," the document continues.

This refers to the purchase of three Greenwich properties by the Dunnes in 2011, which NAMA contends were paid for in cash.

Irish Independent

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