Saturday 24 March 2018

Anglo V Seán Quinn: Bank claims family transferred €4.5m reporters

A member of Seán Quinn’s family moved €4.5m from a bank account in Russia into which rental income on a Moscow office block was being paid to meet loan obligations to Anglo Irish Bank, the bank has claimed.

The allegation emerged during the bank’s legal challenge against Quinn family members to stop them transferring assets from Swedish companies which hold the family’s properties in a number of countries including Russia, according to today’s Irish Times.

On Monday, Anglo was granted an injunction in the High Court in an ex parte application, meaning the family was not present or represented at the hearing. The injunction is in place until a further hearing later today.

The bank is alleging that a nephew of Sean Quinn - Peter Quinn - who heads up the family’s international property interests, moved the funds from the Russian bank of a company called Finansstroy earlier this month.

Among the company assets in Russia is the Kutuzoff office block in Moscow which realises the largest amount of rent among any of the Quinn's international properties.

Anglo's High Court move is against Seán Quinn, his five children, nephew Peter Quinn and two sons-in-law, Stephen Kelly and Niall McPartland, together with two Swedish companies closely affiliated to the Quinn family, Quinn Investments Sweden and Indian Trust.

The bank has claimed the family sought to establish a corporate structure of new companies under the name The Cranaghan Foundation to move assets into those companies. The court heard that the transfers were for the benefit of the Quinn family and in particular Seán Quinn’s grandchildren.

Three years ago, the bank reached an agreement with Quinn Finance, one of Mr Quinn’s main companies, that all rental income from the Kutuzoff building would be paid into a designated account.

The bank claims that Peter Quinn presented a new signature card to Finansstroy’s Russian bank on June 2nd, making him the sole signatory on the account until 2016. Within 24 hours he had instructed the bank to transfer the €4.5m, which was virtually all the money in the account. Anglo allege that this move was designed to undermine the value of the bank's security on loans due on the properties.

The Quinn family’s international properties are worth an estimated €500 million - and at present they owe Anglo close to €3bn. Anglo secured five restraining orders which temporarily freeze the corporate structure of the international property group.

The bank alleges that other changes were made to the family’s international interests recently including the ownership of a chain of DIY stores in Russia, which undermined Anglo’s security and ability to recover its loans.

It is seeking to appoint a bankruptcy receiver to Quinn Investments Sweden, the main company behind the properties.

Business Newsletter

Read the leading stories from the world of Business.

Also in Business