Monday 14 October 2019

Bust developer Dunne to keep $1m pension despite $942m debts

Shane Phelan and Cormac McQuinn

BUST developer Sean Dunne will get to keep a $1m pension - even if he is declared bankrupt in the US.

Mr Dunne disclosed the massive pension pot late last night in filings to a court in Connecticut, where he is seeking to be declared bankruptcy with debts of $942m (€718m).

The $1m (€780,000) pension fund is with his DCD Builders construction company, which is in receivership.

The one time Baron of Ballsbridge states in the filing that the pension cannot be pursued under US bankruptcy law and is only included in the document "for disclosure purposes".

Had the Carlow-born developer sought bankruptcy in Ireland, his creditors would have been able to take legal moves to pursue the pension pot, legal experts said last night.

The disclosure is likely to cause anger, coming in the wake of Mr Dunne's recent claim that his debt to the State was already paid as he had given the Exchequer €350m in taxes through the years. One of his major creditors is State 'toxic bank' NAMA, which he owes €185m.

He also claimed last month that he could be discharged from bankruptcy later this year, compared to the 12 year process involved had he filed for bankruptcy here.

Bankruptcy Mr Dunne and his wife, former gossip columnist Gayle Killilea, have been living in the millionaire's enclave of Greenwich, Connecticut since his empire began to teeter three years ago.

He filed for bankruptcy in the US last month after Ulster Bank indicated it wanted to have him declared bankrupt here over unpaid debts of €164m.

It was one of the main lenders in his disastrous bid to redevelop the Jury's and Berkley Court Hotel sites in Ballsbridge, Dublin. Mr Dunne borrowed heavily to buy the prime seven acre site in the upmarket suburb for €379m in 2005.

In a 53-page submission to the court - effectively a document listing everything he owns and its value, as well as a list of all his debts - Mr Dunne reveals he now has personal property worth just $14.4m (€10.9m) and property assets worth $40.7m (€31m).

The filing discloses: ● More than €600m (€457m) of Mr Dunne's debts are to unsecured creditors.

● Mr Dunne's average monthly income is $22,000 (€16,700) and monthly expenses are $21,800 (€16,600).

● He lists rental income over the last two years at $914,000 (€696,000) and another $30,000 (€22,000) for the sale of a car.

● The records state that he paid his mother Maureen's Sky TV bills to the value of $906 (€690) over "various dates".

● His biggest expenditure is "mortgage/interest" of $13,670 (€10,421) a month - but the property for which the mortgage is held is not recorded.

● The largest sums listed among Mr Dunne's personal assets are a "counter-claim" worth $11.7m (€8.9m) he has against Kildare County Council over a relief road scheme he says was "constructed in lieu of levies for Whitewater Shopping Centre" in Newbridge.

● $1.2m (€915,000) is due to him for "overpaid development levies" to Wicklow County Council.

● Mr Dunne has put an "unknown" value on Irish Daily Mail defamation claim case.

● He also lists as unknown the value of "Ouragh insurance claim", a reference to his former home on Shrewsbury Road. No further detail is supplied.

● Mr Dunne owns three IRFU ten year tickets for the Aviva Stadium, but lists these as having no value because they expire in July this year.

● He also lists ticket debentures for Twickenham in London and the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, valued at a combined $6,439 (€4,900).

● He has a 25pc interest in the cash portion of the estate of his late father Thomas, who died last year, worth $12,798 (€9,700).

● Other assets he listed included almost $64,000 (€48,700) in two AIB accounts, which are frozen.

● $10,000 (€7,600) worth of house furnishings located in his former home on Dublin's Shrewsbury Road are listed.

● He also lists clothing worth $9,000 (€6,800), a watch, wedding band and cuff links worth $7,500 (€5,700) and golf clubs, skies and ski boots worth $1,000 (€762).

Also provided is a long list of properties owned or part owned by Mr Dunne.

These include: ● A share in three properties in Newbridge, Co Kildare.

● Long leaseholds in four properties in Dublin's exclusive Foxrock suburb, noted to be in receivership.

● A 50pc shares in eight sites in the Charlesland development in Greystones, Co Wicklow.

● Lands at Woodtown Rathfarnham.

● A 20pc share in a site at Dublin's North Wall Quay.

● Land in Portarlington, Portlaoise, and Celbridge.

NAMA is listed among creditors with secured claims.

He also lists three loans given by Bank of Ireland and two from the former Anglo Irish Bank with properties listed as collateral.

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