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Grehan admits selling casino share to daughter for just €1

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Property developer Ray Grehan of Glenkerrin at The Grange development

Property developer Ray Grehan of Glenkerrin at The Grange development

Property developer Ray Grehan of Glenkerrin at The Grange development

BANKRUPT developer Ray Grehan has admitted selling most of his quarter share in a €50m Dutch casino to his daughter for just €1.

Details of the sale emerged during a March 15 cross-examination of Mr Grehan by NAMA's lawyers in London.

The toxic loans agency is pursuing enforcement action against Mr Grehan, who owes it more than €300m but who secured bankruptcy protection in the UK last December.

Just days before his bankruptcy, the English courts granted NAMA a worldwide "freezing order" that blocks Mr Grehan from selling any assets while legal action is being pursued against him.

According to Mr Grehan's own evidence the casino deal was one of a number of asset transfers completed by him in 2011, long after his property loans had transferred to NAMA.

He said he transferred his 26pc share in the Dutch casino in August 2011 to a company based in the British Virgin Islands (BVI) called Subiaco.

He said a daughter has a 75pc shareholding in the BVI company and that she paid just €1 for her stake in the Dutch company. That effectively gives her a 19pc interest in the €50m casino.

Mr Grehan owns the remaining stake in Subiaco.

He denied that the transfer was aimed at depriving his creditors. "There is no value there, it is no value," he told the court.

Mr Grehan said that the transfer was made because his co-investors in the casino were concerned that they could be caught up in his wider problems with NAMA.

The asset involved is worthless, because the business is valued at €50m but has debts of €57m, he said.

Ownership of an apartment in Carrick on Shannon worth around €40,000 was transferred to a daughter last summer, but only because of an oversight, he told the court. He said the transfer should have taken place in May 2010, when the beneficiary had turned 21.

NAMA secured a judgment for €300m against Mr Grehan in the Irish courts, before he was declared bankrupt in the UK. The money is still owed but because Mr Grehan is now bankrupt NAMA can only be paid back its share of what bankruptcy officials make by selling his assets.

Blocking

In a "statement of affairs" in 2010 Mr Grehan claimed he was worth €4.3m.

NAMA previously secured an order blocking the sale of an apartment in London's One Hyde Park block.

In his latest evidence, Mr Grehan said he had not listed the property in his original declaration of assets to NAMA because he believed it was owned by a family trust, not by himself.

He similarly did not list an apartment in Toronto because he had written off any value for it, he told the court.

He said his wife is the 50pc owner of a New York apartment, but is currently collecting all of the rental income, after a sale of that asset was blocked by NAMA.

Irish Independent