Tuesday 27 September 2016

Wife of developer Dunne hits out at 'unfair' court action

Published 22/05/2015 | 02:30

Gayle Killilea had tens of millions of euro in assets transferred to her by husband Sean Dunne
Gayle Killilea had tens of millions of euro in assets transferred to her by husband Sean Dunne

The wife of bust developer Sean Dunne has claimed it is "manifestly unfair" for her to have to fight separate court cases on both sides of the Atlantic linked to her husband's bankruptcy.

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Legal proceedings have been issued by both an Irish insolvency official and a US bankruptcy trustee seeking to recover tens of millions of euro in assets transferred by Mr Dunne to his wife Gayle Killilea.

Ms Killilea has branded the process as "oppressive" and questioned the fairness of having to defend similar cases in two jurisdictions.

The comments were made in exhibits filed by lawyers for Ms Killilea with a court in Connecticut yesterday.

Her husband - the Carlow-born developer once dubbed the 'Baron of Ballsbridge' - has debts of around €700m and is undergoing an unprecedented dual bankruptcy process in Ireland and the US. The couple moved to Connecticut in 2010 as Mr Dunne's property empire began to unravel.

Among the exhibits filed with the US court was an affidavit submitted to the High Court in Dublin earlier this month.

In the affidavit, Ms Killilea said Christopher Lehane, the official assignee in bankruptcy in Ireland, and US bankruptcy trustee Richard Coan had made "near identical fraudulent transfer allegations" and were "both claiming to be entitled to the same assets".

The disputed assets include a hotel in Cape Town, South Africa and shares in a company called Mavior.

Mr Dunne and his wife have not disputed that transfers were made, but insist these were carried out at a time when he was fully solvent. They have rejected accusations the transfers were fraudulent.

Irish Independent

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