Monday 22 January 2018

Quinns win access to living expenses from accounts controlled by the receivers

Sean Quinn. Photo: Gerry Mooney
Sean Quinn. Photo: Gerry Mooney

Tim Healy

LIVING expenses for members of businessman Sean Quinn's family must continue to be paid from accounts controlled by the receivers established four years ago rather than from their personal accounts, the High Court ruled.

Mr Justice Brian McGovern refused an application from a Receiver appointed over their assets seeking to vary a previous order which would have allowed the money to come from their personal accounts first before any call is made on the accounts controlled by the receivers.

This is in circumstances where the Quinns will shortly ask the court to discharge the Receiver and allow salaries they are receiving as part of their employments to be excluded from the accounts controlled by the receivers, he said.

He granted the Receiver an order that the Quinns provide updated statements of assets, liabilities, and monthly income and any expenditure in excess of €750.

The Receiver had wanted a 2012 court order varied, arguing there were ample funds in the personal accounts to fund the expenses and, if there was any shortfall, they could then apply for it to be met from the accounts controlled by the receivers.

Some members of the family now work for a company called SMC Products, that is run by two of their cousins, while Ciara Quinn, works part-time as an on-call agency nurse, the Receiver claimed.

Mr Quinn senior was at the time a director of that same company, it was also claimed.

The Quinns argued that the application to stop them getting further expenses from the accounts was an attempt to punish them when the purpose of the orders is to prevent dissipation of assets pending trial.

The Receiver, Declan Taite of RSM Farrell Grant Sparks, was appointed in 2012 by Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC) over assets linked to Quinn companies.

It gave the Receiver power to take possession and control of all assets inside or outside the jurisdiction, including, but not limited to, the shareholdings of Ciara Quinn, Colette Quinn, Brenda Quinn, Aoife Quinn, Stephen Kelly (Aoife's husband) and Niall McPartland (Ciara's husband). The order was later extended requiring that the Receiver be provided with information, but not control over, shareholdings held by Sean Quinn junior's wife Karen Woods, including shares held with Jeffries with an estimated value of €100,000.

The orders were obtained as part of the long-running proceedings alleging that certain Quinn family members and others were involved in a conspiracy to strip some €500m of assets from Quinn companies to put them beyond the reach of IBRC which is owed €455m in loans given by the former Anglo Irish Bank.

Mr Justice McGovern ruled the living expenses should continue to be paid from the accounts controlled by the receivers into which the SMC salaries are paid anyway.

He refused an application that, in the event Karen Woods seeks to liquidate her shareholding with Jeffries, the money must be paid into the accounts controlled by the receivers.

He said that a requirement that Karen Woods furnish information about these shares "seems sufficient for the moment".

Irish Independent

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