Wednesday 21 March 2018

Judge orders Sean Dunne to reveal deals with wife Gayle

Sean Dunne must answer all questions about his finances
Sean Dunne must answer all questions about his finances

Cormac McQuinn and Orlaith Farrell

A JUDGE in the United States has ordered that bust developer Sean Dunne must fully answer questions about his finances, including those relating to alleged transactions with his wife Gayle Killilea.

And he said Mr Dunne could not use an Irish 'in camera' law to avoid answering questions from creditors and the court-appointed bankruptcy trustee.

Mr Dunne filed for bankruptcy in the US earlier this year with debts of over $942m (€691m) but has suffered a number of setbacks in achieving his goal of becoming debt free in six months.

NAMA formally objected to his discharge from debt, and bankruptcy trustee Richard Coan sought to have Mr Dunne held in contempt for failing to produce certain documents, as well as refusing to answer questions about his wife's finances.

In an order last night, Judge Alan Shiff deferred ruling on the portion of the motion relating to holding Mr Dunne in contempt. He ordered Mr Dunne to attend the next creditors' meeting, yet to be scheduled, and to "completely answer all questions posed by the trustee".

Judge Shiff noted that at a June creditors' meeting, Mr Dunne refused to answer questions because of "a claimed Irish in camera rule". He said that at the second meeting on July 10, Mr Dunne continued to refuse to answer questions about various transactions, including alleged transfers to his wife.

He added that Mr Dunne "cannot rely on alleged Irish law to evade his statutory duties under the Bankruptcy Code".

Mr Dunne's creditors include two individuals who have outstanding judgments against him, one for $44m (€32m), the other for $3.2m (€2.3m). But Mr Dunne claims these are subject to the in camera ruling.

In court filings, NAMA said it believed the larger sum related to Mr Dunne's wife. It has secured permission from the US court to ask the High Court to release details of the judgments.

Irish Independent

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