Wednesday 21 March 2018

Sean Quinn: Evidence denying contempt ‘incredible’ – court

Businessman Sean Quinn
Sean Quinn Jr

Tim Healy

EVIDENCE from businessman Sean Quinn, his son and nephew - denying contempt of court orders which prevented them putting valuable property assets beyond the reach of Anglo Irish Bank - is "fantastic" and "incredible", the High Court was told today.

Shane Murphy SC, for the bank - now Irish Bank Resolution Corporation - argued it has proven beyond reasonable doubt the three Quinn family members breached court orders of June and July 2011.

The evidence showed there was a plan authorised by Sean Quinn Senior to put assets beyond the reach of the bank, that the plan was developed by his nephew Peter Darragh Quinn and that his son Sean Quinn Junior was aware of the plan, he said.

The evidence also showed steps in furtherance of that plan were carried out after the court orders, he said.

Explanations provided by the Quinns for the transfer of valuable assets in the Quinn family international property group for no consideration, or for nominal consideration, to apparently unconnected entities, including an unemployed Ukrainian, were "implausible" and "unbelievable", he added.

It was incredible to ask the court to believe no one in the Quinn family was in overall charge of this plan, he said. The bank's case was that Sean Quinn Senior was in charge and, in that context, the court should take into account his clear and unrelenting anger and resentment against the bank.

Mr Murphy was making submissions in the continuing hearing before Ms Justice Elizabeth Dunne of the bank's application for orders for attachment and, if necessary, committal of the three for contempt,

The Quinn respondents deny contempt and have said various steps to move assets beyond the reach of the bank were taken prior to the court orders.

The High Court made the restraint orders in proceedings where the bank claims the family was trying to put properties in the IPG, said to have assets valued up to €500 million, beyond its reach.

In separate proceedings, the family claim they are not liable for loans of some €2.34 billion made by Anglo to Quinn companies because those loans were unlawfully made to prop up the bank's share price.

Among the contempt claims against Sean Quinn Senior is involvement in alleged assignment of about US$130m worth of loans to a Belize entity for nominal consideration on or after July 20th 2011 and in back-dating those loans to April 2011.

It is also alleged he was involved in a fraudulent assignment on or after July 6th 2011 of a €45.2m debt to a Northern Ireland company, Innishmore, controlled by Peter Darragh Quinn, with a view to taking control of a Ukranian property asset worth about US$78m.

The third allegation is that he was involved in a process leading to a US$500,000 payment being made out of the accounts of Quinn Properties Ukraine to its general director, Ms Janis Puga. That money remains frozen.

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