Wednesday 11 December 2019

IBRC scours Switzerland for Quinn trust

Tom Lyons

Forensic accountants from IBRC have begun a trawl in Switzerland to uncover a trust that it believes was set up for the benefit of family members of bankrupt tycoon Sean Quinn. The bank has been pushing the Quinns for five weeks to reveal the name of the trust and disclose whether or not it has any assets.

By Friday last week, the family had still not given the bank any details of the trust, which was mentioned for the first time by Peter Quinn, a nephew of Sean Quinn, at the end of March. Sean Quinn was questioned last week in Dublin's High Court but said he knew nothing about it.

IBRC is concerned that any assets in the trust could be moved. The taxpayer-owned bank is alleging that the Quinn family was involved in asset-stripping of firms that control an international property empire worth €500m. This is denied by the Quinns.

Last week, Sean Quinn said he was not involved in any action to move assets away from the bank. "I never breached any injunction in my life and I never will," he said.

Under intense questioning by IBRC, Mr Quinn also dismissed a €184m debt by the Quinn Group. "What Anglo have done to the Quinn Group is going to cost the taxpayer €5bn minimum," he claimed. "The stuff you're on about, it's Mickey Mouse."

In court last week, it also emerged that the ownership of unencumbered property assets worth millions had been moved in a complex series of assignments.

IBRC is claiming that the Quinns continue to control these assets and that the changes were made to avoid repaying debts of €2.8bn. This is denied by the Quinn family.

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