Monday 11 December 2017

Dunne won't say if wife Gayle will join list of creditors

Sean Dunne and his lawyers outside the New Haven, Connecticut, Federal Building
Sean Dunne and his lawyers outside the New Haven, Connecticut, Federal Building

Orlaith Farrell Connecticut

BUST developer Sean Dunne has refused to confirm if his wife Gayle Killilea is set to join his long list of creditors with a claim of $44m (€33.1m).

The former 'Baron of Ballsbridge', who is seeking to be declared bankrupt, also admitted he wasn't "au fait" with all of his wife's business dealings.

Mr Dunne was quizzed yesterday over his finances by a US court-appointed bankruptcy trustee at a hearing in New Haven, Connecticut, attended by some creditors.

Lawyers for Mr Dunne told trustee Richard Coan that he could not answer if the person listed on bankruptcy papers simply as Creditor A was Ms Killilea because there was a family court issue under Irish law.

The 58-year-old wouldn't be drawn on whether creditors A and B were his wife and ex-wife despite being pressed by Mr Coan.

"I see representatives for both parties here today and I have deduced that they are A and B."

A lawyer for Gayle Killilea joined the round table hearing to tell Mr Coan: "You can deduce what you want, the law is clear. If Mr Dunne answers, he does so at his peril.

"I think you should desist with this line of questioning."

Mr Coan asked Mr Dunne's legal team to return with specifics of the law for the next creditors' meeting.

The businessman was quizzed over the ownership of his former firm Mountbrook Homes, which has since rebranded as Mavior.

Shares

Mr Dunne owned a 20pc share in the company with the remaining 80pc split into 10pc shares for his three eldest children and 50pc was put in trust for their younger siblings.

The 58-year-old said he sold his shares to wife Gayle in 2008 based on a price decided by an auditor, but couldn't be sure for how much.

When pressed by Mr Coan about the ownership of a share in a South African hotel connected with the company, Mr Dunne said he resigned as a director of Mavior in 2010 but was not sure if his wife was still the sole owner because he "wouldn't be au fait with all her investments".

Replying to Mr Coan's claim that he found it hard to believe he didn't discuss finances with his wife, the 58-year-old replied he knew his wife still owned the property but didn't know what entity she holds it in.

When quizzed on how Ms Killilea funded her development purchases since relocating to the US, Mr Dunne said: "She certainly got transfers from me but you seem to want to go back 10 years, which is something I have to clarify with an attorney."

The Carlow-born businessman said that he hadn't made any property transfers to the former gossip columnist in the past four years and, when asked what transfers he had made, his lawyer said they would prepare the information for a future meeting.

Another creditors' meeting is scheduled for July 17.

Irish Independent

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