Case of American (60) who claimed younger Irish lover defrauded her of millions settles
Published 21/03/2013 | 17:00
A 60-YEAR-old American woman's action over claims she was defrauded of millions by her younger Irish lover has been settled at the High Court.
Elisa Rodino claimed Thomas J Queally, who had been engaged to her, has stolen about $4m (€3m) of her money – a large portion of which was lodged by him into a bank in Ennis, Co Clare.
She also claimed that Mr Queally, whom she has not seen for months, had been living a double life and had another fiancee while engaged to her.
Mr Queally, who is in his mid-forties, denied the claims, and said that while he was in involved in relationship with her, he was never her fiancé.
He rejected her allegations that he transferred money to Ireland from a joint bank in the US to his bank account in Ireland without her authorisation.
The action was due to be heard in the High Court in Dublin at the end of April.
Today, however, Ms Rodino's lawyers told Ms Justice Mary Laffoy was told that the case has been settled. No details were revealed in open court.
The Judge agreed to adjourn the matter to a date in April to allow for the final terms of the settlement agreement could be committed to writing. Neither Ms Rodino nor Mr Queally was in court today.
Late last year, Ms Rodino's lawyers secured a number of temporary freezing orders against Mr Queally, of Sherman Avenue, Yonkers, New York, who is originally from Lahaknock, Kilmaley, Co Clare.
They prevented him reducing, dissipating or transferring funds below a value of €1.6m held in a savings account account at Permanent TSB in Ennis, Co Clare.
Ms Rodino, of Cathedral Avenue, Hempstead, New York, alleged the money in the Ennis bank account, approximately $2m (€1.5m), is hers. She claimed that it was moved by Mr Queally from a joint account held in the US in both their names.
Ms Rodino's Irish lawyers, when securing the freezing orders against Mr Queally, told the High Court that she was a vulnerable woman who had been taken advantage of by Mr Queally, whom she first met in 2007.
It was her case that in August 2012, in order to aid Mr Queally in a court case against a former employer, she agreed to put his name down on one of her bank accounts. It was a deposit account that contained $5m.
She claimed Mr Queally asked her to do this because it would show that he and Ms Rodino, who had inherited a sizable property portfolio from her late father, were a couple and that the work he did on her properties was not a contract of employment.
Last October, she claimed Mr Queally was due to meet her in Spain, but he never showed up. When she arrived back in the US she discovered that money had been transferred to the bank in Ennis and to a US bank account.
She also brought a legal action against him in New York, where she alleged that Mr Queally misappropriated property as well as cash from her. Mr Queally denied all the allegations made against him in both the Irish and the New York courts.
It is understood that efforts are being made between the parties to resolve the New York proceedings.