Wednesday 21 March 2018

Anglo to look for receivers over Quinn worldwide assets

Tim Healy

THE former Anglo Irish Bank is urgently seeking to appoint receivers over the worldwide assets of members of the Quinn family because it believes they cannot be trusted to honestly comply with court orders stopping the stripping of multi-million assets from their International Property Group (IPG).

That belief is based on recent findings by Ms Justice Elizabeth Dunne against Sean Quinn Senior, his son Sean and nephew Peter Darragh Quinn of contempt of those orders and on material that emerged during the contempt hearing, the High Court heard.

Anglo, now the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC), is to make the application to appoint receivers following yesterday's ruling by Mr Justice Peter Kelly that Mr Quinn snr is not entitled to defend a legal action which could result in judgment for more than €2.3 billion being entered against him in favour of the bank.

The bank was also very concerned about a recently published video recording of a January 2012 meeting in Kiev, Ukraine, showing Peter Quinn and Sean Quinn Jnr discussing movement of money and showing Peter Quinn was "prepared to lie" to the High Court.

Brian Murray SC, for IBRC said it would be seeking orders appointing receivers over the worldwide assets of the Quinn children and two of their husbands - Stephen Kelly and Niall McPartland.

The bank last week secured orders appointing receivers over the assets of Peter Quinn and Sean Quinn Jnr.

While the bank has interim orders freezing the accounts of all those defendants below €50m, it believes, given the contempt findings and the video recording, the defendants cannot be trusted to comply with the orders in an honest and forthright manner, Richard Woodhouse of IBRC said in an affidavit.

Mr Justice Kelly said the bank could apply for the receivers'appointment on July 24 next, when the court will hear the application to continue the account freezing orders pending the full hearing of the bank's action to restrain dissipation of assets in the IPG. The defendants had liberty to file a reply to the matters set out, the judge added.

In his affidavit, Mr Woodhouse noted the findings of Ms Justice Dunne that Sean Quinn Snr, Sean Jnr and Peter Quinn told untruths to the court and were guilty of contempt of orders restraining asset dissipation.

Mr Woodhouse said he was also very concerned about video footage, published in the Irish Mail on Sunday last weekend, of a meeting in January 2012 at a restauarant in Kiev, Ukraine, attended by Peter Quinn, Sean Quinn Jnr and others, including Ms Larisa Puga. Ms Puga was the alleged recipient of a disputed $500,000 payment allegedly sanctioned by members of the Quinn family from Quinn Properties Ukraine last August just before IBRC took over that company.

That recording appeared to refer to attempts being made, "and which continue to be made", to strip assets from a company holding a valuable asset, a shopping centre in Kiev, Ukraine, he said.

The video showed an exchange regarding large sums of money, he said.

It also showed Peter Quinn stating he was in breach of a court injunction and, when asked would he lie in his testimony, laughing and

responding: "I'd have to lie...that wouldn't overly worry me".

The footage also showed a discussion regarding Peter Quinn and Sean Quinn Jnr's desire to find a way to move $100,000 in cash from Kiev to an account in a safe place and a discussion about the logistics of transporting that sum in a way that is not detected, Mr Woodhouse said.

There were also references to "6 million" and "5 million" and a detailed discussion about the need for Peter Quinn to lie about signing contracts or he will go to jail, Mr Woodhouse added.

The video also featured references by Sean Quinn Jnr to a company, CranRe, and the bank was increasingly concerned about the uses to which CranRe (a company within the Cranaghan Foundation, a Swedish trust structure set up by the Quinns) has being put, he said.

The matters disclosed in the video "are extremely serious", he said.

All of the activities of which the bank complained were co-ordinated for the benefit of the Quinn family and various members of the family took responsibility for various aspects of the asset-stripping strategy in different jurisdictions, he said.

Earlier, Mr Justice Kelly delivered judgment refusing the application by Sean Quinn Senior to be permitted defend Anglo's third party proceedings for an indemnity against him should Mr Quinn's wife and children win their legal action arguing they have no liability for some €2.3bn loans allegedly made for the unlawful purpose of propping up the bank's share price.

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