Sunday 25 June 2017

Quinn nephew tells court signature forged

Dearbhail McDonald Legal Editor

THE nephew of former billionaire Sean Quinn claims his signature was forged when the debts of a firm that owns a €78m Ukraine property were moved to a mysterious company in the British Virgin Islands.

Peter Quinn is accused of helping to put the flagship shopping centre in Ukraine out of the reach of Anglo Irish Bank by moving its debts.

But in the High Court in Belfast it emerged the former head of the Quinn family's foreign property empire says he never authorised any debt transfer -- which could massively boost the bank's bid to claim the property in Kiev.

Peter Quinn now says that his signature was forged on the agreement and says he will not stand in the bank's way to try and regain control of the asset.

Debts linked to the €78m Ukrainian shopping centre were moved out of the Ukraine last year to the British Virgin Islands by a complex series of transfers involving Demesne Investments.

Demesne was one of the main finance arms of the Quinn Group. The debts of the Ukrainian shopping centre ended up in the British Virgin Islands company Lyndhurst, via Northern Ireland company Innishmore where Peter Quinn is the main shareholder as well as its director.

Anglo, now known as the IBRC, claimed that the debts were moved by the Quinns to Lyndhurst to frustrate its bid to take control of the property.

Lyndhurst has successfully claimed in a court in the Ukraine that it is owed $45m (€33m) by the local company in the Ukraine that owns the shopping centre.

This jeopardises the IBRC's claim. But Peter Quinn now says that his signature was forged on the agreement which gave Lyndhurst the right to the shopping centre's debts.

It is also understood that Peter Quinn will revoke the original debt transfer from Demesne to Innishmore that led to the debts being moved on to the British Virgin Islands.

It is the latest twist in the ongoing battle for control of the Quinn family's €500m-strong international property group.

The climbdown comes weeks ahead of a bid by Anglo to jail Sean Quinn Snr, his son Sean Quinn Jnr and Peter Quinn.

The three men stand accused of breaking court orders not to interfere in any way with their foreign property assets, including the shopping centre in the Ukraine.

Last December the bank secured injunctions at the High Court in Belfast against three companies -- Demesne, Innishmore and Lyndhurst.

Demesne Investments is a Northern Irish company where Sean Quinn Snr was a director until the Quinn Group was placed into receivership last April.

Irish Independent

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