Thursday 8 December 2016

Funds in €40m deal spent on girl, court told

Tim Healy

Published 21/07/2010 | 05:00

AN Irish developer based in Barbados has been accused of diverting cash from a €40m fund that had been earmarked to build a Caribbean resort to buy lavish gifts for his girlfriend, renovate his home and plan an elaborate wedding.

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In papers lodged in the High Court, it is claimed that Padraig (Paudie) O'Halloran used money given to his companies to buy a €39,000 ring, lease a private plane and buy property.

The 40-year-old developer, who has an address at Gurland House in the exclusive Sandy Lane resort in Barbados, is being sued both here and in the Caribbean by David Ames, the owner of two Caribbean islands-registered companies.

Mr Ames claims that $52m (€40m) was paid over to Mr O'Halloran's companies to build a major hotel and resort development, which were then allegedly left unfinished. Mr O'Halloran denies the claims.

The proceedings in the Commercial Court here concern the alleged transfer by Mr O'Halloran of some €1.14m to Bank of Ireland and Permanent TSB accounts.

An interim freezing order on the accounts has been continued by the court until August.

A former employee of Mr O'Halloran, Trisha Young, said in an affidavit that: "A key motive behind the siphoning off of funds was to continue to enable his beloved girlfriend, Suzanne Floyd, to live her lavish lifestyle."

Affidavit

In an alleged email to Ms Young in April 2009, Mr O'Halloran said: "I would send Suzanne all of my money or Dave's money. I only ever ask for more money so I can send more to Suzanne.

"F*** Dave Ames, the p****, he knows nothing, I have lied to him about the value of work. All I care about is Suzanne, she is my whole world."

"I have spent almost a million dollars on the house in Barbados, I have sent so much money to Suzanne to the tune of $306,000, plus $250,000 for salaries.

"Dave can go to hell before I will finish his project. I will spend his money and f*** off, he will never catch me. He is an IDIOT.

"What person in their right mind just gives people money without making them accountable? I have met a right fool."

Mr O'Halloran said in an affidavit that the allegations against him by Mr Ames and Ms Young were "unsubstantiated, untrue and highly prejudicial".

He also claimed that the emails allegedly sent by him were either forgeries or had been tampered with.

David Ames's companies -- Harlequin Property (SVG) Ltd and Harlequin Hotels and Resorts Ltd -- have brought proceedings arising from their engagement with two companies of Mr O'Halloran's, ICE Group (SVG) Ltd and Cellate Caribbean (SVG) Ltd, in 2008.

The deal was to complete the construction of a multimillion-dollar tourist development in Buccament Bay in St Vincent and the Grenadines.

Mr Ames claims that more than $52m was provided to ICE and Cellate but that Mr O'Halloran misappropriated significant sums for his own use.

It is claimed that Mr O'Halloran paid €50,000 to Weddings by Franc Ltd for a wedding ceremony that Mr O'Halloran was organising with Ms Floyd.

Irish Independent

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