Tuesday 21 January 2020

Cleaning firm debts dwarfed by arrears on properties

Donal O'Donovan

Donal O'Donovan

THE debts of DJ Carey's modest cleaning business, for all its problems, were dwarfed by the power couple's multi-million property portfolio.

In their years together, DJ Carey and Sarah Newman built up a massive, and hugely indebted, portfolio of investment and personal properties.

By far the most spectacular was Chalet Grace -- a luxurious €10.5m Swiss holiday home overlooking the Materhorn -- complete with double-height windows, home theatre and health centre.

It was just one of a number of high-end properties.

The scale of the portfolio was revealed at the Commercial Court in May last year when Mr Justice Peter Kelly granted a judgment order to AIB for more than €9.5m against the couple.

AIB had taken the case after they fell behind on massive mortgages on investment properties they bought at upmarket golf resorts, the K Club and Mount Juliet.

The case centred on property loans taken out in 2007 and secured against three properties -- No 908 Ladycastle, The K Club, Co Kildare; No 821 Ladycastle, The K Club; and No 5 The Inch, Mount Juliet, Co Kilkenny.

BOOM

The houses were in addition to the family home on Alma Road in the wealthy Dublin suburb of Monkstown. Homes in the same area still go for more than €1m, despite the property crash.

Like many others during the boom the couple jumped through complicated hoops in order to buy into the then rising property market.

Mr Carey borrowed €7.85m against two of the investment properties and also signed a personal guarantee agreeing to pay back a further €1.5m borrowed by Ms Newman against the third property. She in turn signed personal guarantees for Mr Carey's €7.85m loan.

The Swiss chalet was put on the market following the AIB judgment case, and was sold at the end of last year.

At least two of the Irish properties are still being used by the couple -- who recently split up.

Ms Newman is understood to be living at the house in Monkstown, while Mr Carey is based at the K Club.

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