Sunday 25 February 2018

Court reserves decision in businessman’s challenge again freezing orders

Aodhan OFaolain and Ray Managh

The High Court has reserved its decision in Custom House Capital's former chief executive Harry Cassidy's challenge against orders freezing two accounts with the Bank Of Ireland.

Mr Cassidy brought an action in respect of two accounts held by a private pension trust which has two independent trustees and was established in 2000 to administer his pension. 

The court heard Mr Cassidy was the sole beneficiary of the €180,000 held in the accounts frozen in July 2012.

In his action against the Garda Commissioner and the State, Mr Cassidy, of Ballintyre Walk, Ballinteer, Dublin, claims he is being denied full disclosure by gardai of information he requires to challenge the making of the freezing orders.

Mr Cassidy, represented by Hugh Hartnett SC, also wants the High Court to quash all the freezing orders made in respect of the two bank accounts.

The State, represented by Frank Callanan SC, opposed the action and claimed the freezing orders were valid and should remain in place.

Today, following the conclusion of submissions from both sides Mr Justice Anthony Barr said he required time to consider all the issues put before the court. The Judge said he would notify the parties when he was in a position to deliver his judgment.

Custom House Capital was wound up in 2011 after a High Court-appointed investigation by two Central Bank inspectors into the firm found the "systemic and deliberate misuse" of €66m of client's money to cover shortfalls in European property investments.

The inquiry found "improper transactions" concerning €56m in client funds and a further €10.4m owing to clients on an investment bond.

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