Business Irish

Tuesday 11 December 2018

Ammado sister entity in focus as probe continues

Ammado boss Peter Conlon is understood to be in custody in Switzerland

Peter Conlon said in 2015 that there was ‘potential to bring Ammado to be a global internet company’. Photo: Fergal Phillips/The Sunday Times
Peter Conlon said in 2015 that there was ‘potential to bring Ammado to be a global internet company’. Photo: Fergal Phillips/The Sunday Times
Gavin McLoughlin

Gavin McLoughlin

A sister company of the Ammado entity placed into liquidation last week is the subject of intense scrutiny, with the charity fundraising group's boss Peter Conlon understood to be in custody in Switzerland.

Conlon told prospective investors that he had transferred all Ammado intellectual property to a company called Ammado Technology Ltd, based at the same address as the company that is in liquidation.

That's according to an affidavit from liquidator Myles Kirby that was opened in the High Court last week.

Kirby was appointed liquidator of Pembroke Dynamic Internet Services - an Ammado entity - on January 22, and told the court that funds due to charities had been misappropriated.

On Tuesday Rossa Fanning SC, counsel for the liquidator, told the court that it appeared Conlon was "guilty of very serious misconduct".

The affidavit says that in December 2017 Conlon told prospective investors that Ammado Technology Ltd would generate all the revenue from the Ammado platform and products going forward.

Conlon told them that Ammado Technology was a shelf company that had no liabilities and had not previously traded, Kirby's affidavit says, adding that Ammado Technology had sought to open bank accounts in a number of foreign countries. Ammado Technology is still in existence as Kirby has only been appointed liquidator of Pembroke Dynamic International Services.

Ireland's corporate watchdog, the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement, declined to comment when asked if it intended to use its public interest powers to wind up Ammado Technology.

At least 800 charities are being contacted to be told money due to them from the Ammado platform may be missing.

The dramatic news emerged when Revenue had Kirby appointed liquidator of the company on foot of an unpaid tax bill.

Charities including Trocaire and Concern were listed on the Ammado platform, alongside GAA clubs and animal shelters.

The Red Cross wrote to Conlon in May saying it wanted full payment of a sum of almost €200,000. A number of other charities including the Save the Children fund had sent similar letters.

The matter is due back in court this coming week.

Conlon, a native of Leitrim, had success when MV Technologies, a company he founded, was sold for more than €100m in the early 2000s. Later he set up Xsil, which ceased trading in 2008. After that came Ammado, which is based ultimately in Switzerland.

In an interview with the Sunday Independent in 2015 Conlon said: "I can tell you we got an amazing break recently. We were looking how to extend this franchise. In September we're going to launch something that's going to blow everyone away in the peer-to-peer world.

"We don't disclose the revenues. It will become profitable in September or October", Conlon added.

"There is no question that what we have today has the potential to bring Ammado to be a global internet company."

Sunday Indo Business

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