Friday 20 October 2017

IBRC suing two Dubai firms in Quinn case

Tim Healy

TWO related companies based in Dubai are being sued by Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC) over their alleged involvement in an asset-stripping scheme by family members of bankrupt businessman Sean Quinn.

In the commercial court yesterday Judge Peter Kelly granted an application by IBRC to join Senat Legal and Senat FZC, both of Gold and Diamond Park, Dubai, and Michael Waechter, principal of Senat FZC, as co-defendants to the bank's action against various members of the Quinn family.

The judge noted IBRC special liquidator Kieran Wallace claimed the Senat parties played "a pivotal role" in the scheme to strip assets worth up to $500m from the Quinn family's International Property Group (IPG). It is alleged the scheme was "masterminded by one or all" of the three, the judge said.

On foot of a detailed affidavit from Mr Wallace concerning the alleged role of the three, the judge said he was satisfied to join them as co-defendants.

Counsel for the Quinn family said earlier his side was neutral on the application to join the Senat parties.

In his affidavit, Mr Wallace said the role of the Senat parties emerged during earlier proceedings against Sean Quinn senior, his son Sean Junior, and nephew Peter Darragh Quinn, over alleged contempt of court orders restraining stripping of assets from IPG.

He said Senat FZC had played "a crucial role" by organising the incorporation and purchase of offshore companies in Belize and Panama on behalf of the Quinn family for the purpose of putting IPG assets beyond the bank's reach.

He said Senat Legal appears to "project manage" certain legal actions related to the scheme on behalf of the Quinn family. Some members of the family had admitted that $1.5m (€1.15m) extracted by them from IPG companies after July 2011 was paid to Senat in respect of legal fees on behalf of the Quinn family, he said.

Separately yesterday, the judge fixed April 11 for the hearing of an application by Quinn family members for orders requiring $500m to be lodged in court by IBRC to meet any award of damages to them should they successfully defend the bank's action.

The Quinns say, given the liquidation of IBRC, the court should either lift injunctions against them and the freezing orders on their accounts, or require IBRC to lodge $500m into court.

Irish Independent

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