Business Irish

Thursday 14 November 2019

NAMA claims Dunne family refused to disclose assets

Sean Dunne arrives at the church in Tullow, Co Carlow, to attend the funeral of his father Thomas Dunne.
Sean Dunne arrives at the church in Tullow, Co Carlow, to attend the funeral of his father Thomas Dunne.
Gayle Killilea arrives at the church in Tullow, Co Carlow, to attend the funeral of Mr Dunne’s father Thomas Dunne.
Donal O'Donovan

Donal O'Donovan

SOCIALITE turned property developer Gayle Killilea refused to tell NAMA what properties and assets she owned when the agency tried to put together a complete list of assets linked to her husband Sean Dunne, according to a US legal filing.

Mr Dunne's adult children also declined to disclose their financial details to the agency, NAMA told the US courts.

The news comes as explosive court papers submitted by NAMA in the US claim that Mr Dunne has been linked to secret property deals in Switzerland and the US. It is claimed that these deals netted him millions even as his debts at home went unpaid.

Audacious

NAMA wants courts in the US to order the seizure of assets worth millions, which it claims are linked to Mr Dunne and Ms Killilea, as well as US companies associated with the couple and even the US lawyers advising them.

Dubbed the Baron of Ballsbridge for his audacious top-of-the-boom property deals, Mr Dunne owes NAMA €185m.

The crux of the case is that NAMA claims in court documents that money originally made by Mr Dunne has been funnelled through his wife into a string of high-end property deals in the US and Switzerland.

NAMA has gone to court because it thinks millions in profits from the deals should go to pay some of Mr Dunne's debt.

The couple rejects any suggestion that the properties were ever owned by Mr Dunne.

They say Ms Killilea is now a property developer in her own right, and the toxic bank has no right to profit from her deals.

Details of the intense stand-off between NAMA and the couple are revealed in court papers filed in Connecticut, where Mr Dunne now lives.

The papers reveal the titanic but often petty battle between Mr Dunne and NAMA over the €185m debt.

NAMA, the agency set up to recover the debts of big property developers, hit a brick wall when the wife of one of its biggest debtors simply refused to reveal the properties and assets she owns, the papers show.

Despite its wide-ranging powers, NAMA has no authority to compel anyone who does not directly owe it money to disclose their financial affairs.

The papers show that Mr Dunne did provide NAMA with a sworn statement of affairs at the end of 2010, but the agency is no longer happy with the details provided.

"Despite the declaration under oath as to their completeness, these representations were false," NAMA official John Coleman said in a declaration to the Connecticut Courts.

The unusually blunt language used by NAMA gives an unprecedented insight into the toxic relationship between Mr Dunne and the agency.

Among the claims in its 50-page submission, NAMA says it has been unable to determine what Mr Dunne owns around the world, in part because his family has been unco-operative.

NAMA has taken legal action against Mr Dunne, Ms Killilea, their lawyers Thomas J Heagney and John F Sloan and a number of US firms linked to the couple.

The courts in Connecticut rejected NAMA's request for an emergency injunction to freeze the controversial assets, so the agency must wait until October to make its case.

Irish Independent

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