Monday 18 December 2017

Operator of XL Fuels Group Ltd denies claims of his alleged failure to co-operate with bank-appointed receiver

The judge adjourned the matter to next week.
The judge adjourned the matter to next week.

Tim Healy

THE operator of a fuel distribution business completely denies claims surrounding his alleged failure to co-operate with a bank appointed receiver over his business, the Commercial Court heard.

The receiver to XL Fuels Group Ltd, Oldcastle, Co Meath, claims he has not only faced non co-operation but incidents in which a threat has been made to burn down a petrol station forecourt, fuel being deliberately spilled in the forecourt and a man turning up in a balaclava.

Earlier this month, Mr Justice Brian McGovern said there was evidence owner Michael Curran was "orchestrating all this activity."   The judge granted an application by receiver Kieran Wallace to admit to the Commercial Court list  proceedings against Mr Curran, his mother Maureen, who is a director of the firm, and against the company's accountant and auditor Edmond Cahill, of Kells Business Park, Co Meath.

Mr Wallace is seeking orders requiring the delivery up of books and records and assets of the company as well as orders requiring the directors to provide a statement of affairs and to desist from contacting customers during the receivership.

Mr Justice McGovern today agreed to an application from Rossa Fanning BL, for the receiver, to adjourn injunction proceedings after counsel said his side had only received affidavits from Mr Curran and Mr Cahill before midnight Tuesday.   His side needed time to consider those affidavits.

The defendants were refuting a number of matters and there was a conflict of facts as to whether material had been deleted on a computer server, which Mr Curran had delivered up to the receiver,  counsel said.

Separately, Bank of Ireland, which appointed the receiver over a €2.26m owed to it by XL, has issued proceedings seeking judgment for €2.2m against Mr Curran and for €1m against his mother, counsel said.   The receiver may also be seeking to cross examine Mr Curran before the court.

Mr Justice McGovern said there were allegations in this case of an attempt to interfere with the administration of justice which, if proven, would have serious consequences.  It may even involve a file going to the DPP, he said.

Gary McCarthy SC, for Mr Curran and Mr Cahill, agreed that would be so at trial but said the court was mainly dealing now with whether books and records were being delivered up to the receiver in order to ascertain the financial position of the company.  Mr Curran is prepared to agree to an order or undertaking to provide those records, the court was told.

His clients were also "denying completely all the allegations".   The matter in relation to books and records was all going to be resolved in favour of the receiver and there was no need for a cross examination of Mr Curran, he said.

The court also heard the receiver was also opposing an application that Mrs Curran, who is 80, should be let out of the proceedings after her counsel said she is "essentially a passenger" and there was no actual case against her.  

The judge adjourned the matter to next week.

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