Business Irish

Monday 19 February 2018

Trial set for Ennis businessman who allegedly ran 'pyramid' fund

Donal O'Donovan

THE Examiners Court has ordered a trial date to hear the case being taken against Ennis businessman Jal Kalsi. It comes after a court-appointed liquidator told the courts that the businessman fraudulently and recklessly ran a property fund that was described as "little more than a pyramid scheme".

Mr Kalsi has filed a defence with the court refuting the claims. Justice Mary Finlay Geoghegan set a trial date for June 22 but she urged both sides to consider mediation before that date.

Mr Kalsi is a former president of Ennis Chamber of Commerce. The case relates to the collapse of MPS Global Ltd, a property-investment fund. The fund raised €4.4m in 2007 and 2008 from 59 investors.

MPS Global offered investors a return of 15pc a year on the fund, which was to be invested in foreign property.

The trial date comes after months of legal wrangling between lawyers acting for Mr Kalsi and those acting for Myles Kirby of Martin Ferris & Associates.

Mr Kirby is a court-appointed liquidator to the property fund run by Mr Kalsi. The liquidator was appointed to sell off the assets of MPS Global Ltd and return cash to investors, but despite the €4.4m invested in the fund the liquidator has so far not been able to realise any value, according to documents held with the court.

Mr Kirby is seeking to have Mr Kalsi made personally liable for losses at MPS Global on the basis of fraudulent trading.

Mr Kalsi is now living in England but he flew back to Dublin in recent weeks to be medically assessed by a doctor selected by Mr Kirby, on the orders of the court.

It came after a psychiatric report by Ennis-based psychiatrist Moosajee Bhamjee, the one-time Labour TD, had found Mr Kalsi was too unwell to defend himself in the courts.

Parts of the second assessment by Damian Mohan, a Dublin-based psychiatrist, were read into the court record. The medical report stated Mr Kalsi suffered from a mild to moderate depressive illness, but in the doctor's opinion was unwilling rather than unable to attend court.

A 'freezing order' imposed by the court, which forbids Mr Kalsi from reducing his assets below €4.4m, was extended to the trial date and he was told to provide the court with a statement of means, explaining how he was funding his lifestyle since the business collapsed.

Mr Kalsi was represented in court by barrister Brian Walker. Barrister Gerard Meehan acted for the liquidator.

Irish Independent

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