Tuesday 23 January 2018

Bank faces uphill battle to get back $300m from family

Laura Noonan

SO now for the three-hundred million dollar question -- will Anglo Irish Bank ever be able to get back the $300m (€220m) it believes the Quinns are trying to salt away from the bank?

It's looking like an uphill battle. First, Anglo will have to convince the courts that the Quinns have indeed transferred some $200m worth of assets away from the bank's reach and made a false claim for another $100m from the empire.

Second, the bank will have to convince the courts that the Quinns had no right to do what they've allegedly done.

And third, if the courts find in favour of the bank, Anglo will have to hope and pray that the Quinns hand the assets back voluntarily.

The first part of the battle looks the simplest. Anglo has cited documents allegedly showing the transfer of a $180m office block to Sean Quinn's nephew Peter Quinn for the token sum of €1,000, and a $13.5m building given to the tycoon's son-in-law in exchange for a €380 laptop.

So far so straightforward. It could be trickier to resolve the alleged $100m false claim demanded from the property empire by a Belize firm that Anglo believes is linked to the Quinns.

As for the second part, the family is claiming that Anglo's claims on the property portfolio are "invalid" because the original loans were granted for the "illegal purpose" of propping up Anglo's own share price.

The final stage will be collection. A judge deeming Anglo entitled to the $300m is one thing, recovery of the assets is quite another.

Irish Independent

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