Thursday 23 October 2014

Ex-NAMA man charged with leaking secret data

Court hears claims that details about developer Paddy McKillen disclosed

Published 30/07/2014 | 02:30

Enda Farrell

A former NAMA employee has been charged with 13 counts of disclosing confidential data, including information about the businesses of prominent property investors such as Paddy McKillen.

Enda Farrell (38) appeared at Dublin District Court following a two-year garda investigation.

Mr Farrell, with an address in Brussels, Belgium and formerly of Dunboyne, Co Meath, was bailed to appear in court again in two months.

The charges relate to information about major developers, NAMA's hotel portfolio and properties in Germany.

Business people whose data was allegedly compromised include Belfast-born Mr McKillen, who in recent years fought high-profile court battles over the ownership of three luxury hotels.

Information relating to the firm of prominent Cork developer Michael O'Flynn is also alleged to have been leaked.

Donegal developer Pat Doherty's Harcourt Group also appears on the list of companies whose confidential information was allegedly disclosed.

All of the information detailed in the charges was allegedly given via email to employees of investment firms on dates between May and July 2012.

The charges came after a two-year investigation by gardai who launched an inquiry following a complaint by NAMA.

Under the NAMA Act it is an offence for an employee to disclose confidential information, unless authorised or obliged by law to do so.

It is also an offence for a NAMA employee to use confidential information for the direct or indirect advantage of themselves or another person.

If a trial goes ahead before a judge and jury, the maximum penalty which can be imposed, upon conviction is a €5m fine and prison term of up to five years.

Mr Farrell, who joined NAMA in 2010 having previously worked at the National Treasury Management Agency, oversaw a project to compile valuations on all of the properties under the agency's control.

He is alleged to have illegally shared information with three individuals.

The charges he is facing include supplying information to Kenneth Rouse of QED Equity Ltd relating to the Cosgrave Group and the Harcourt/Pat Doherty Group on May 17, 2012.

Mr Farrell is alleged to have supplied Mr Rouse with information on NAMA valuations of Anglo Irish Bank properties the following month on July 4.

Information on hotels in NAMA is alleged to have been supplied to the same man two days later. Details of Paddy McKillen's loans were allegedly disclosed to Mr Rouse on June 15.

Information held by NAMA about the Lexeme Retail Property portfolio, which comprises retail schemes throughout Leinster, was allegedly provided to Mr Rouse on July 18; while information relating to O'Flynn Group/Tiger Developments is alleged to have been supplied to the same man on July 24.

Other charges relate to the alleged passing of information to Stewart Doyle, also of QED Equity Ltd. These relate to the Cosgrave Group and the Harcourt/Pat Doherty Group, with information allegedly emailed to Mr Doyle in both cases on May 17, 2012.

A further charge relates to the alleged supply of information about NAMA's portfolio in Germany to Ray McMahon of Cannacord Genuity on June 15, 2012.

Mr Farrell appeared before Judge Ann Ryan in Court No 4 at the Criminal Courts of Justice on Monday.

After Mr Farrell was granted bail and the case was adjourned until September 22, when gardai will produce the book of evidence.

Irish Independent

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