Friday 20 October 2017

Dunnes did nothing wrong, US court told

LAWYERS for Gayle Killilea say there is "no evidence" that her husband Sean Dunne transferred money to her after he became insolvent.

Dunne and wife did not show up in Stamford Superior Court, Connecticut, in the US to hear their lawyers clash with NAMA over the proceeds of the sale of three properties in the US and Switzerland.

But Ms Killilea's lawyer Philip Russell told the Irish Independent: "There's nothing fraudulent, there's nothing improper, there's nothing sinister about giving things to your wife unless you're doing it to beat the creditors."

After a day of legal argument, NAMA was given more time to investigate the property dealings of Ms Killilea.

Lawyers for the couple had asked the court to hear the case quickly, as soon as next week, claiming there was no case against the pair.

And they accused NAMA of a "fishing expedition" as it pursues the former developer for the profits of three property sales.

Dunne is being sued in the American court by National Asset Loan Management (NALM), a subsidiary of NAMA.

It maintains the former developer channelled money through his wife over the past two years to pay for a series of property deals.

NAMA began appointing receivers in Ireland to some of Dunne's properties in July 2011 and secured a High Court order for the repayment of €185m in March of this year.

But it claims the Dunnes have netted millions in the US as the loans in Ireland remain unpaid.

Ms Killilea maintains that she bought the properties at the centre of the case -- two in Greenwich, Connecticut, and one in Geneva, Switzerland.

When questioned over where Ms Killilea got the money to invest in three luxury properties, Mr Dunne's lawyer Peter Nolin said: "It doesn't really matter . . . unless she got it from him in the last four years of this complaint because that's the statue of limitations on fraudulent transfers."

He added: "The complaint was brought in June or so of this year. The statute of limitations on fraudulent transfers in Connecticut is four years."

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Yesterday, lawyers for the former gossip columnist agreed to no longer block a motion, put forward by NALM, which wants to talk to third parties in connection with the sales -- including real estate agents Sotheby's.

Ms Killilea's lawyer Mr Russell said: "Sotheby's is going to go ahead and furnish all the documents that they had originally generated".

No date as of yet has been set for a full hearing.

But representatives of both Mr Dunne and Ms Killilea are pressing NAMA to specify the date they believe Mr Dunne became insolvent, claiming its a crucial element of the case.

Mr Russell added: "What's missing from this case is any evidence whatsoever that transfers occurred from Mr Dunne to Mrs Dunne after Mr Dunne became insolvent. Period."

Irish Independent

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