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Former tech tycoon Peter Conlon consents to €2m judgment


Businessman Peter Conlon

Businessman Peter Conlon

Businessman Peter Conlon

Tech entrepreneur Peter Conlon has consented to a judgment of €2m being made against him and to being struck off as a director following the collapse of his charities fundraising service.

As part of a settlement of High Court proceedings taken by liquidator Myles Kirby, Mr Conlon accepts he is responsible for debts of €2m owed by his company Pembroke Dynamic.

The Leitrim-born businessman, a former EY Entrepreneur of the Year, has already spent a year in jail in Switzerland for embezzlement after millions of euro donated online via his Ammado platform was not passed on to charities.

The judgment is in favour of Mr Kirby, who has been pursuing Mr Conlon (67) through the courts since 2017.

As part of the settlement, Mr Kirby accepts Mr Conlon did not personally benefit from the misappropriated monies.

Freezing orders preventing Mr Conlon reducing his assets below €2m, which have been in place since 2018, are to remain for three more years.

Cash in several bank accounts, totalling €371,000, is to be given to the liquidator and distributed to Pembroke’s creditors. The court is expected to decide next week just how long Mr Conlon should be struck off for.

The terms of the settlement were outlined to Mr Justice Sanfey yesterday by Rossa Fanning SC for Mr Kirby. Mr Fanning said it was accepted €4m donated to charities had been misappropriated.

According to the liquidator, the funds were moved from the charitable trust or foundation set up by Mr Conlon to Pembroke Dynamic. The donated cash was supposed to be given to individual charities, with the company receiving a commission.

However, an investigation by Mr Kirby found there appeared to be no financial controls in place to prevent the mixing of monies between the company and the foundation. The liquidator found monies supposed to go to the charities were used by the company to pay for staff wages and rent without the knowledge or consent of the charities or the donors.

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Mr Fanning said as a result of the seriousness of the matter, Mr Kirby was seeking a lengthy period of disqualification of 10 years or more.

Solicitor Robert Dore, for Mr Conlon, said the fact his client did not personally benefit was a very significant mitigating factor for the court to consider regarding the length of the disqualification.

He said his client was a separated father of four adult children and the reality was he would never be a director of a company once the period of disqualification expires.

The solicitor said his client had been an award-winning businessman who set up the platform in 2008 in an attempt to give something back.

The platform was successful for some time before it started to experience difficulties, Mr Dore told the court.

He said Mr Conlon accepts that some monies were loaned to the company from the charitable foundation to keep Pembroke going.

Mr Conlon had hoped to bring in external investment to the company that ultimately would have saved the day and resulted in the loans being repaid, the solicitor said.

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