Thursday 27 November 2014

Receiver appointed by AIB to take control of Ivor Callely assets

Published 16/08/2014 | 02:30

Ivor Callely
Ivor Callely
AIB has take control of Ivor Callelly's property at Hawthorn Terrace, East Wall in Dublin.

ALLIED Irish Bank has appointed a receiver over property assets owned by jailed politician Ivor Callely.

The bank made the move to take control of the assets after the disgraced former junior minister was imprisoned last month for fiddling expenses.

Ernst & Young director Marcus Purcell was appointed receiver over a number of Callely assets.

The former Dublin Fianna Fail TD and senator borrowed heavily from AIB during the boom, using investment properties as security for the loans.

On one day alone in March 2007, he and his wife Jennifer re-mortgaged five investment properties with the bank.

The values of these properties subsequently collapsed and they remain well below boom-time levels.

In total his name has appeared on AIB mortgage documents for eight different properties on Dublin's northside.

These include the couple's family home on St Lawrence's Road in Clontarf, although Callely moved it into his wife's sole ownership in May 2011. The couple have been estranged for the past 12 months.

The exact extent of the assets subject to the receivership has yet to be disclosed.

Ernst & Young declined to comment about Mr Purcell's appointment or the scope of his brief, while AIB said it could not comment on individual cases.

Residents in one of Callely's investment properties, a terraced house in Dublin's East Wall, confirmed they had been made aware AIB now controlled the property.

They were informed of the development last week by their letting agency and expect to remain tenants.

The property, at Hawthorn Terrace, was originally bought in Mrs Callely's name, with an AIB mortgage registered in 2000.

However, it was re-mortgaged in 2007 in both of their names. Callely's fraud trial last month heard he had run into financial difficulties in recent years, with lender Investec securing an €11m judgment against him last year.

However, no mention was made at the time of any difficulties with AIB.

It is thought the money borrowed by Callely from AIB in 2007 was used to fund his involvement in a property deal in Clontarf.

He and three businesses associates also borrowed €10m from Investec in connection with that plan, with the aim of building 44 seafront apartments. However, the project ran into planning difficulties and ended up being shelved.

Investec issued legal proceedings against Callely, who consented to a judgment for €11m in July last year.

Legal

The lender has also has initiated further legal proceedings against Callely and his wife. These relate to property matters, but the details of what is involved have yet to be disclosed.

Last month, the 56-year-old was jailed for five months at Dublin Circuit Court after he pleaded guilty to four counts of using bogus invoices to claim mobile phone expenses from the Oireachtas between 2007 and 2009.

He is serving the sentence at Wheatfield Prison.

Callely served as a junior minister for health and later transport between 2002 and 2005.

But he bowed out of politics in 2011 following a controversy-strewn term as a senator during which he was suspended from the Seanad for 20 days for claiming over €80,000 in travel expenses from his west Cork holiday home.

Irish Independent

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