Sunday 8 December 2019

NAMA claims Crosbie failed to reveal assets

Tim Healy and Dearbhail McDonald

NAMA has rejected as "scurrilous" claims by businessman Harry Crosbie that he and his family were subjection to "aggression" and "vicious accusations" by the toxic loans agency.

Mr Crosbie is locked in a court action with NAMA which is seeking the repayment of loans of around €77m.

NAMA says it had no choice but to enforce the loans to Mr Crosbie after he failed to disclose substantial assets when first asked to do so, the Commercial Court has heard.

But in court papers resisting the summary or instant judgment, Mr Crosbie – who says he has received no salary from NAMA – claimed he was concerned at the level of aggression and "frankly vicious" accusations made against him and his family.

NAMA has denied Mr Crosbie's concerns, saying they are "scurrilous".

Yesterday the Commercial Court heard a letter sent by solicitors for NAMA in August 2012 said full and complete disclosure was a requirement of NAMA's January 2012 Memorandum of Understanding with Mr Crosbie and his "lack of candour" in dealings with NAMA was "simply not acceptable".

Michael McDowell SC, for Mr Crosbie, argued NAMA is now effectively seeking to bankrupt his client.

Mr McDowell said NAMA is bound by an agreement set out in a letter of August 24, 2012, relating to management and disposal of assets and liabilities of Mr Crosbie and companies connected with him.

NAMA obtained some €35m from the sale of assets under that agreement, but was now seeking to resile from aspects of that agreement, he said. The agreement is the basis for Mr Crosbie's defence to the summary judgment claim. Mr Crosbie also rejected claims by NAMA he had misled it as to whether he had unencumbered assets.

Paul Sreenan SC, for NAMA, argued that the August 2012 agreement does not constitute a defence to the claim for summary judgment.

Earlier, Mr Sreenan read documents in which NAMA said it had believed Mr Crosbie had in February 2011 made full disclosure of his assets, debts, income and expenditure.

In August 2012, the agency put to him various matters not previously disclosed to it following the takeover by NAMA of some €450m loans of companies linked to Mr Crosbie.

Of payments totalling some €1.39m to Mr Crosbie's wife, Mr Crosbie allegedly acknowledged €740,000 of that arose from misappropriation of some €1.5m dividends of a company charged in favour of NAMA.

It was claimed Mr Crosbie also admitted having a 45pc interest in an investment property in France, details of which were not previously disclosed.

It was also alleged he did not disclose significant cash gifts to and assets purchased for his children. And his statement of affairs given to NAMA did not disclose funds held on deposit in Ireland and France, it was claimed. Mr Justice David Keane reserved his decision.

Irish Independent

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