Friday 23 March 2018

Gayle Killilea has lined up expert witnesses in bid to hang on to millions

Gayle Killilea
Gayle Killilea
Gayle Killilea Photo: Douglas Healey
Shane Phelan

Shane Phelan

Gayle Killilea, the wife of bankrupt property developer Sean Dunne, is to rely on solvency experts in her bid to hold on to tens of millions of euro worth of assets transferred to her by her husband.

A US court has been told depositions from the expert witnesses will be delivered early next year.

It is understood Ms Killilea, pictured, will seek to prove that the assets, made up of cash and properties in Ireland and South Africa, were transferred to her at a time when her husband's finances were healthy.

The couple have denied the transfers were made to put assets beyond the reach of creditors. US bankruptcy trustee Richard Coan is taking proceedings against Ms Killilea and a number of companies she is associated with in a bid to recover assets.

Sean Dunne with wife Gayle Killilea
Sean Dunne with wife Gayle Killilea

At a recent pre-trial hearing, a recording of which was obtained by the Irish Independent, Ms Killilea's legal team said experts on her side were "mainly on the issue of solvency".

The hearing was also told there was likely to be disputes on both sides over discovery of documents ahead of a trial in 2017.

Mr Coan claims the assets were fraudulently transferred and that Carlow-born Dunne still controlled them and benefited from them.

He alleged these included a property development business in Connecticut and various projects in Ms Killilea's name.

Mr Dunne made agreements with his wife in 2005 and 2008 and is thought to have transferred assets worth €100m to her.

But his business empire later got into difficulty and he filed for bankruptcy in the US in 2013.

The same year, he was adjudicated bankrupt in Ireland and has been undergoing dual bankruptcy proceedings ever since.

He is currently challenging an application to extend the period of his bankruptcy in Ireland due to alleged non-co-operation with Insolvency Service official assignee Chris Lehane.

Mr Lehane only recently got to interview Mr Dunne for the first time about his finances. During the interview, Mr Lehane said Dunne and his wife did not view Ireland's most expensive house, Walford, before buying it for €58m in 2005.

Irish Independent

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