Monday 10 December 2018

Dunne is accused of 'fishing' for bankruptcy documents

Sean Dunne
Sean Dunne

Tim Healy

Businessman Sean Dunne has gone to the High Court in a bid to get access to documents in advance of a hearing seeking to have his Irish bankruptcy extended.

Ms Justice Caroline Costello began hearing submissions yesterday on the discovery application against Chris Lehane, the official assignee handling Mr Dunne's bankruptcy.

Bill Shipsey, for Mr Dunne, said his side was seeking certain correspondence relevant to the application by Mr Lehane to extend the bankruptcy to the maximum term of eight years.

Mr Dunne was also declared bankrupt in the US in 2013 and some of the documents sought include all correspondence between Mr Lehane and the US Trustee in Bankruptcy between 2013 and the end of last year.

Ulster Bank petitioned the High Court in February 2013 to have Mr Dunne adjudicated bankrupt here over default on some €164m in loans. The following month, he filed for bankruptcy in the US, claiming debts of $1bn (€806m) and assets of $55m.

In 2016, Mr Lehane initiated the bankruptcy extension application over alleged non co-operation, which Mr Dunne denies.

His bankruptcy here was temporarily extended pending the outcome of the hearing on whether any extension should be granted.

Mr Shipsey said Mr Dunne disclosed all his assets in his statement of affairs in relation to his US bankruptcy and there are no other assets.

Counsel said it was essential his side got the documents that underpin the official assignee's belief that Mr Dunne allegedly failed to co-operate. Mark Sanfey, for the official assignee, said there is a concern at how wide the categories sought by the Dunne side are. Counsel said it has the hallmarks of a fishing expedition. The case continues tomorrow.

Irish Independent

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