Sunday 21 January 2018

Ex-Custom House chief in court bid over frozen accounts

Aodhan O Faolain and Ray Managh

A challenge by Custom House Capital's former chief executive Harry Cassidy against orders freezing two accounts with the Bank Of Ireland has opened in the High Court.

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. Judge Anthony Barr yesterday heard that 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.

He also wants the High Court to quash all the freezing orders made in respect of the two bank accounts. The State opposes the action and claims the freezing orders are valid and should remain in place.

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.

Mr Cassidy's counsel said gardai obtained 28-day freezing orders against bank accounts linked to Mr Cassidy. The orders had been renewed on several occasions since.

An unsuccessful application had been made before Judge Cormac Dunne at the District Court for full disclosure of all the sworn information. The case continues.

Irish Independent

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