Courts

Tuesday 29 July 2014

IBRC claims information 'emerging' about alleged conspiracy involving Quinn family members, court hears

Published 19/03/2014|18:02

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IRISH Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC) claims information "continues to emerge" about an alleged conspiracy by members of bankrupt businessman Sean Quinn's family, two Middle Eastern firms, and others, to move substantial assets beyond the bank's reach.

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IBRC only recently learned that a New Zealand company, Corlex,  with Latvian directors, had made substantial payments in relation to the Quinns' legal costs, Mr Justice Peter Kelly was told in the Commercial Court. 

The bank also learned substantial sums were channelled through bank accounts in the names of infant children to previously unheard of companies which appeared to have a connection to the asset-stripping of the family's international property group (IPG), Karyn Harty, solicitor for IBRC, said in an affidavit.

Despite "strenuous efforts" to recover IPG assets, many of those still remain beyond the bank's reach, she said. The location of rent monies from several properties was unknown, she said.

It was IBRC's case that Senat FZC and Senat Legal Consultancy FZ LLC, of Gold & Diamond Park, Dubai, and Michael Waechter, principal of Senat FZC, were centrally involved in the alleged conspiracy, Ms Harty said.

IBRC also believed several other companies, some identified and others unidentified, were also involved.

IBRC was contending the Senat defendants were involved in devising and implementing the alleged asset-stripping scheme on behalf of the Quinn family. 

This was allegedly done through Senat FZC's alleged involvement in organising the incorporation, purchase and, in some cases, ongoing management of a number of off-shore companies in Belize and Panama.

IBRC also alleged the Senat defendants were involved in co-ordinating and "project-managing" legal actions related to the alleged scheme. 

Those defendants allegedly received some US$1.5m in cash extracted by the Quinn defendants from the IPG companies after July 2011 by way of purported salaries which funds then channelled to payment of the Quinns legal fees.

IBRC believed the Senat defendants have been involved in transactions relating to Russia, Belize, Cyprus, India, the United Arab Emirates, Panama, Liechenstein and Ireland. 

The scheme also involved actions relating to Sweden, Ukraine, Austria and Zurich, she said. The Senat defendants have offices in the UAE, Liechenstein, Austria and Zurich, Ms Harty added.

It was in that context IBRC sought orders directing the Senat defendants to disclose documents relating to dealings on behalf of the Quinns, Brian Murray SC, for IBRC, outlined.

Jarlath Ryan BL, for the Senat defendants, said they denied any involvement in the alleged conspiracy and pleaded they had acted bona fide in relation to incorporating companies and providing legal advice in various jurisdictions.

They were prepared to make discovery of documents but objected to the extent of discovery sought as too broad and disproportionate.

Having heard arguments from the sides, Mr Justice Peter Kelly said he would order the Senat defendants to disclose the documents sought by IBRC.

The limited disclosure offered by Senat ran counter to how the Irish courts deal with discovery obligations, the judge said.

He also believed discovery should be ordered in the context of this case, where conspiracy was alleged, as conspiracy of its nature was "furtive" and something that "occupies the shadows".

Among various orders, the judge ordered the Senat defendants to discover all documents or recordings referring in any way to the Quinn defendants or to any dealings with those defendants, their agents or any incorporated or unincorporated company, entity, trust, foundation, fund, account or any other vehicle in which the Quinns have an interest.

IBRC sought the discovery in proceedings against Mr Quinn's five adult children, their spouses, the Senat defendants and other companies alleging a conspiracy to place IPG assets, previously valued at US$500m, beyond the bank's reach.

The Senat side had also sought discovery of a range of documents from IBRC and agreement was reached between the sides in that regard.

The main hearing of the alleged conspiracy action has been deferred pending the conclusion of criminal proceedings against former executives of Anglo Irish Bank, IBRC's predecessor.

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