Business Irish

Friday 22 November 2019

Developer Sean Dunne to face fresh grilling over asset transfers to wife

Sean Dunne and Gayle Killilea
Sean Dunne and Gayle Killilea

Public Affairs Editor

BUST developer Sean Dunne is to face a fresh grilling from creditors later this year.

A US court has been told a creditors meeting, which had been adjourned pending other legal developments, is to resume in April.

It is likely to see a renewed focus on the transfer of tens of millions of euro of assets to his wife, former gossip columnist Gayle Killilea, in the years before he filed for bankruptcy.

The disclosure is one of a series of legal moves which had been anticipated after Mr Dunne dramatically waived his right to be discharged from his debt.

The Carlow-born developer claimed he could not afford to keep fighting his battle to be given a fresh financial start.

His capitulation means he will be liable for all of the €700m in debts he owes to creditors.

The resumed creditors meeting has been set for April 15.

Mr Dunne and his wife are also facing a separate, but related, legal battle with a court appointed bankruptcy trustee and one of his main creditors, the National Asset Management Agency (NAMA).

The trustee, Richard Coan, and NAMA have joined forces to restart a lawsuit originally filed against Mr Dunne and his wife, former gossip columnist Gayle Killilea, in 2012.

The joining of forces is likely to limit the legal costs to both Mr Coan and NAMA.

That lawsuit had been suspended pending a decision over Mr Dunne’s petition for bankruptcy. This issue was resolved after Mr Dunne waived his rights last month.

The case has now been moved to a US federal court.

A number of companies linked to the couple and a law firm, which acted in property deals also linked to the couple, have also been named as defendants.

Mr Coan has claimed Mr Dunne transferred over €100m in assets to his wife for “no or nominal consideration”.

Mr Dunne and his wife moved to the US in 2010 following the collapse of his property empire.

His wife has sought to reinvent herself as a property developer in her own right and has been involved in multimillion dollar deals in Connecticut and New York.

NAMA claims Mr Dunne fraudulently transferred money to his wife and that the cash was used by her to set up her property development business.

The claims have been disputed by the couple.

Online Editors

Also in Business