Monday 19 February 2018

Dunne's wife getting rent cheque from South Africa for D4 home

Orlaith Farrell

FORMER billionaire developer Sean Dunne's plush house in Dublin's Shrewsbury Road is being leased to the South African government – with a quarterly cheque made out to his wife.

The one time 'Baron of Ballsbridge' decided to leave Ouragh in D4's millionaire's row in 2010, but the rental income is now being used to service the mortgage, it has emerged.

Mr Dunne (58) said he "hadn't seen any of the cheques" himself.

Fresh details of the arrangement to rent the property to the South African government emerged yesterday at a bankruptcy proceedings meeting.

Mr Dunne told the meeting that his former home, the mansion Ouragh, is currently leased to the South African government and the rent is being used to service the mortgage.

When asked if the quarterly cheque was made out to him or his wife, he replied: "It's made payable to Gayle (Killilea) and she services the mortgage from her account. I haven't seen any cheques, I couldn't tell you."

Court-appointed trustee Richard Coan questioned Mr Dunne about the "transfer" of shares of his former company, Mountbrook, to his wife in 2008 and what Mrs Killilea paid for them.

"I think you're mis-describing it," he told the hearing.

"It's a disposal of shares at market value. Other people could take it out of context. The documents are on public record in Ireland, so whatever is on them is on them."

But Mr Dunne's biggest creditors were blocked from grilling him at the meeting in New Haven, Connecticut, as part of his US bankruptcy proceedings.

OMISSIONS

NAMA filed a legal complaint on Monday to the US bankruptcy court, arguing that Mr Dunne should not be discharged from debt because he "knowingly and fraudulently in, or in connection with, the bankruptcy case made a false oath or account".

In the complaint, National Asset Loan Management Ltd, a subsidiary of NAMA, listed 22 "omissions and mis-statements" it alleges the Carlow-born businessman made in a previous creditors' meeting last month.

The papers also accuse Mr Dunne of transferring assets to Ms Killilea, after receiving demands for repayment of a €164m debt from Ulster Bank in 2008, an allegation he has previously denied. Mr Dunne's legal team argued that he could not answer questions without the protection of a deposition, and the court must "preserve Mr Dunne's procedural safeguards".

Referring to the NAMA complaint at yesterday's meeting, he insisted it was "not backed up by any substance".

NAMA had also questioned Mr Dunne about the existence of two handwritten documents from 2005 and 2008 transferring assets between himself and his wife.

But his lawyer, James Berman, told the court appointed trustee that "given the accusation that his affairs are inextricably linked with his wife, any questions would act as discovery on a pending adversary proceeding".

Irish Independent

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