Tiger-era car dealer's move to Canada slows bid to disqualify him as director
RICHARD Mockler, a Bentley and Porsche car dealer to high-spending West Dublin businessmen and socialites, has emigrated to Canada which has caused difficulties in serving him with legal papers to have him disqualified as a director and held liable for debts of millions.
Mockler is a former director of Richard Mockler Ltd (RML), a car dealership that saw its turnover shoot up from about its usual €2m per annum to over €20m in 2007 as it bought and sold high- powered vehicles with various business people as well as with other car traders including Lee Cullen, an associate of the late Katie French.
RML went into liquidation in September 2009 and the company's liquidator Aidan Garcia Diaz has alleged in High Court proceedings that the car dealership failed to keep adequate accounts, receipt books, sales books or cash-flow statements of management accounts.
It is claimed that about €700,000 worth of sports cars have gone missing and that RM Ltd spent €650,000 of company money for the benefit of Mr Mockler, including paying the mortgage on his personal property investments as well as paying for wine, tennis lessons and private schools.
In the High Court last week John Kennedy, junior counsel for the liquidator, requested permission to be allowed to serve the required papers on the businessman by email.
Greg Ryan, a solicitor acting for Mr Mockler's wife, Janette, told the court he would try to facilitate this process. "I have an email address for him and I have been in contact with him on an irregular basis," Mr Ryan said.
"An application for disqualification is a very serious matter," Ms Justice Finlay Geoghegan said. "He has to face up to this one way or another."
In court, Mr Ryan said that Mr Mockler's wife, Janette, a director of RM Ltd, was prepared to allow herself to be disqualified as a director.
Counsel for the liquidator said he had no intention of holding her responsible for the company's debts but did intend to pursue her husband on this issue.
"I have read the [liquidator's] affidavit and it suggests that Mrs Mockler may not have been as directly involved," Ms Justice Finlay Geoghegan commented.
"She is estranged from her husband. She recognises there may have been inappropriate behaviour without her knowledge," Mr Ryan responded.
Founded in 2000, RM Ltd sold high-performance cars regularly to assorted west Dublin people. One of RM Ltd's most significant trading relationships was with fellow car dealer, Lee Cullen, who ran Exclusive Cars, based in Saggart, Co Dublin.
Mr Cullen loaned model Katie French a €100,000 Range Rover, which she was driving on the night she had a cocaine-induced heart attack.
Mr Cullen paid €2.1m to the Criminal Assets Bureau in 2006, according to reports in the Sunday World.