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Monday 11 December 2017

Court freezes Quinn family's bank accounts

Sean Quinn Snr : bankrupt
Sean Quinn Snr : bankrupt

Dearbhail McDonald Legal Editor

THE bank accounts of Sean Quinn's five adult children, two of his sons-in-law, and a nephew have been frozen by the High Court.

Ciara, Collette, Sean Quinn Jnr, Brenda and Aoife Quinn have been temporarily banned from reducing their personal assets below €50m.

The move follows claims by the former Anglo Irish Bank that the Quinns are involved in an ongoing "complex and devious" scheme to put international properties beyond its reach.

It is trying to recover almost €3bn in loans from the Quinns.

It claims the children and others are prepared to lie in court documents and buy offshore companies to hold assets and conceal their ownership.

The five will each be allowed to withdraw €2,000 from their bank accounts for living expenses until the case returns to the High Court next Wednesday.

An order freezing Sean Quinn Snr's assets cannot be made because he is a bankrupt.

However, a powerful injunction -- effectively freezing assets -- has been placed on Peter Darragh Quinn, a nephew of Sean Quinn Snr and the former head of the Quinn family's International Property Group (IPG).

Solicitor Niall Mc Partland, who is married to Ciara Quinn, and Stephen Kelly -- a former Quinn Group employee who is the husband of Aoife Quinn -- have also been hit by the interim freezing orders which will limit access to their bank accounts, income and property.

High Court judge Mr Justice Peter Kelly issued the temporary orders yesterday.

Assets

The Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC), formerly Anglo, claimed that new information had come to light which showed that property assets transferred out of the Quinn family's IPG were being held for their benefit.

Lawyers for the bank told Judge Kelly it believed up to €400m has been removed already or is at risk despite earlier court bans preventing Sean Quinn Snr, Sean Quinn Jnr and Peter Darragh Quinn from interfering in any way with key properties including assets in Russia, India and the Ukraine.

Judge Kelly said the Quinns had been accused of "the most serious behaviour" by the IBRC.

This includes an alleged conspiracy to wrongfully convert property assets through a complex series of share transfers to offshore companies.

The IBRC is expected to find out within days whether its bid to jail Sean Quinn Snr, Sean Quinn Jnr and nephew Peter Darragh Quinn for alleged contempt of previous court orders has been successful.

Senior Counsel Paul Gallagher, for the IBRC, described the alleged scheme to strip assets and put them beyond the bank's reach as "complex and still in place".

Mr Gallagher said that the bank had obtained new information demonstrating the extent to which steps have been taken by the Quinn family and their agents to appropriate assets in which IBRC has an interest.

Irish Independent

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