News Courts

Sunday 21 September 2014

Quinn family's gold: Informants 'claim have details of substantial assets not disclosed'

Special liquidator strikes deal regarding attempts by Quinn family members to put assets 'beyond reach', court hears

Dearbhail McDonald Legal Editor

Published 30/05/2014 | 12:11

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Sean Quinn Pic: Courtpix
Sean Quinn

THE SPECIAL liquidator of the former Anglo Irish Bank has struck a deal with "informants" who claim to have information about "substantial assets" not disclosed by members of the Quinn family including an alleged substantial investment in gold, the Commercial Court has heard.

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The agreement, struck on March 15th last, will see the the IBRC give the informants 3pc of any cash recovered on foot of their information.

But the informants names will not be disclosed because of ongoing concerns about their personal safety in lights of a spate of attacks on former Quinn assets in Ireland.

It is not alleged that Quinn family members are in any way connected with those attacks, the court heard.

This morning High Court judge Mr Justice Peter Kelly heard that the alleged undisclosed assets could be substantial.

Judge Kelly also heard details of an alleged "travelling fixer" used by the Quinn family.

The new information was revealed after the lifting of a gagging order at midnight last night, the Commercial Court heard.

Judge Kelly thanked the IBRC for updating the court and gave the IBRC permission to bring any further applications on foot of recent developments.

Senior Counsel Paul Gallagher, for IBRC, made an application to update the court on developments in other countries including the UK and America.

Mr Gallagher revealed that special types of disclosure orders, known as Norwich Pharmaceutical orders, were made in the UK and US.

Gagging or "no tell" orders were placed on disclosing those orders to third parties.

The gagging orders have now expired and both seals lifted.

The US seal was lifted at 5am and the Quinns will be notified by email today.

The lifting of the seals has allowed the IBRC to update the Irish Commercial Court on new information which it says supports the bank's claim that members of the Quinn family were involved  in a scheme to place assets beyond its reach.

The Commercial Court heard that the IBRC reached an agreement with persons known as informants claim to have knowledge of information about assets held by the Quinns.

The board of the IBRC believe their information could be of benefit to IBRC's creditors.

The newly discovered material includes email correspondence including an email address which the IBRC says is "central to the Quinn family's scheme".

The English proceedings have concluded, but the US Chapter 15 (bankruptcy) proceedings are ongoing, said Mr Gallagher.

Earlier this week, the Commercial Court fast-tracked a long running legal action by the family of bankrupt businessman Sean Quinn against the Central Bank, Minister for Finance and ten former board members of Anglo Irish Bank, now known as IBRC.

The family is claiming multi-million Euro damages over an alleged conspiracy to unlawfully shore up the share price of Anglo.

They claim the defendants conspired to procure Anglo to commit the same allegedly illegal acts and that the Anglo directors' authorisation of loan facilities to Quinn Group entities was illegal and/or wrongful.

Damages are claimed for alleged conspiracy, negligence, breach of duty, breach of statutory duty, misfeasance in public office and negligent and/or fraudulent misrepresentation.

Separately, the receiver over the Quinn's assets has been seeking explanations from members of Mr Quinn's family about transactions involving the movement of substantial sums between national and international accounts.

Receiver Declan Taite was also due to indicate to the Commercial Court next week  if he is satisfied with an explanation from Mr Quinn's son-in-law, Stephen Kelly, husband of Aoife Quinn, as to how a laptop supplied by Mr Kelly to the receiver was wiped of all data.

The receiver had sought explanations including why accounts jointly held by Mr Quinn's daughter, Ciara Quinn, and some of her children, were used for "an enormous level" of transactions to national and international accounts in 2011 and 2012.

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