Friday 23 February 2018

IBRC secures judgment for €16.2m against jailed businessman Breifne O'Brien

Breifne O'Brien. Photo: Collins Courts
Breifne O'Brien. Photo: Collins Courts

IRISH Resolution Banking Corporation (IBRC) has secured judgment for €16.2m against jailed businessman Breifne O'Brien.

High Court President, Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns, today said the state owned bank, formed following the merger between Anglo Irish Bank and Irish Nationwide Building Society (INBS), was entitled to summary judgment against O'Brien.

He is currently serving a seven year prison sentence for running a ponzi scheme that cost his victims millions of Euro.

The bank's application was opposed by Mr O'Brien, who represented himself in the proceedings and was accompanied to court by prison guards.

He argued he had an arguable defence against judgment being made against him and said the matter should go to a full hearing of the court.

IRBC, represented by Joe Jeffers Bl, sought summary judgment against both O'Brien, of Kilmore, Monkstown Grove, Dublin,  and his father Leo O'Brien arising out of a failure to repay loans advanced by INBS in 2002, 2004, and 2006.

Counsel said the monies were used to purchase investment properties in locations including Cork and Dublin.

Counsel said following a default on repayments a demand was made by IRBC for the amounts due on the loans.

The demand had not been satisfied counsel said.

Mr O'Brien argued that he did not have enough time to prepare for the banks' application.

He only discovered a few days ago the application for summary judgment was due before the court.

He also argued a freezing order made against him by the High Court in 2009 had effected his ability to service the loans.

He also claimed the loans were provided as a result of reckless lending and undue influence by INBS.

Mr Justice Kearns said he was satisfied Mr O'Brien had not made out an arguable defence.

He did not accept the lack of access to files and documents was a valid argument and added that the proceedings for summary judgment had been in being for some time.

He rejected claims that the freezing orders in 2009 could be advanced as a arguable defence.

IRBC's application for judgment in a similar amount against his father, Leo, was adjourned to next month.  He is opposing the application.

Last October, Breifne O'Brien was given a seven year prison sentence, after he pleaded guilty to 14 sample counts of deception and theft involving around €8.5m between 2003 and 2008.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard he dishonestly induced five people to advance millions of euro to him to invest in bogus property deals in Manchester, Paris and Hamburg.  

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