Monday 18 February 2019

Anglo 'trying to bleed Quinn family dry', court hears

Sean Quinn. Photo: Courtpix
Sean Quinn. Photo: Courtpix

Tim Healy

ANGLO Irish Bank is trying to "bleed dry" the family of bankrupt businessman Sean Quinn to prevent them from exposing the "biggest corporate scandal in the history of the State", the Commercial Court was told yesterday.

Even the dogs in the street knew that Anglo engaged in "grotesquely illegal" conduct, advancing loans of more than €2.34bn to prop up its shares and deceiving its shareholders about their true value, Rossa Fanning, for the Quinns, said.

The bank was "so embarrassed by its behaviour that it had to change its name by corporate deed poll," he added.

Counsel was resisting the bank's application for an order requiring the family to provide security for costs -- which could be as high as €1m -- of the bank legally disclosing (discovery) documents sought by the family for their action aimed at avoiding liability for loans of €2.34bn made to Quinn companies, on the grounds that those loans were made for the unlawful purpose of propping up the bank's share price.

The application is one of several pre-trial matters being heard in the action by Mrs Patricia Quinn and her five adult children, aimed at avoiding liability for the €2.34bn loans.

Costs

Earlier, the judge heard that some former senior executives of Anglo had refused to answer inquiries from the new management of the bank (now Irish Bank Resolution Corporation) about dealings with the Quinns.

The lack of co-operation was fairly outlined by Richard Woodhouse of IBRC in sworn replies to questions put by Bill Shipsey SC, for the Quinns.

In his sworn replies, Mr Woodhouse said former Anglo chairman Sean FitzPatrick had declined to meet with the IBRC lawyers and the bank had also received no substantive response to its inquiries from the former Anglo CEO David Drumm or from Pat Whelan, Anglo's former head of lending and member of the bank's board from 2006 to 2009.

In opposing security for costs, Mr Fanning said the bank's application to have the family provide security for the costs of discovery was unprecedented.

But Brian Murray SC, for IBRC, said the family had not said they could not pay and had been able to lodge some €500,000 in the courts in Cyprus last year when seeking injunctions against the bank.

The case continues.

Irish Independent

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