Thursday 14 November 2019

Developer's brother says he may have signed over life policy

Tim Healy

BUSINESSMAN Bernard Rocca accepts he may have signed a document handing over his interest in a €1.27m life insurance policy taken out on the life of his late brother, developer Patrick Rocca Jnr.

Under cross examination in the High Court, Mr Rocca said that even if he did sign a document at his late brother's home in July 2004, which purportedly assigned his interest in the policy to a company controlled by Patrick, he did so without knowing what he was signing.

In proceedings before Mr Justice Paul Gilligan against Danske Bank, Mr Rocca claims he is the beneficiary of a Hibernia Aviva Life policy on his brother, who died tragically in January 2009.

Danske Bank, trading as National Irish Bank, claims it is entitled to the proceeds to pay off some €1.5m owed on a €3.85m mortgage advanced to Patrick and his wife Annette in 2006.

The bank claims that in 2004 Bernard Rocca assigned the policy to Brentwood Properties Ltd, controlled by Patrick Rocca.

Bernard Rocca claims the bank has no lawful title to the policy proceeds.

Forgery

Yesterday, on the third day of the resumed action, Mr Rocca, under cross examination by Declan McGrath SC, for the bank, accepted he may have signed an assignment in favour of his brother's firm in 2004.

He said he believed he signed three assignments, the originals of which were later forwarded to him. When asked by counsel if he still believed if a fourth assignment was a forgery, he replied: "I don't know."

He also told the court that he "fallen out" with his family, including Annette Rocca, who he said asked him three days before his brother's inquest to change his statement, since issues surrounding the policy emerged.

The case continues.

Irish Independent

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