Sunday 22 April 2018

Quinns avoid prison but have just three weeks to disclose all assets

Sean Quinn, left, Sean Quinn Jnr and Peter Darragh Quinn leaving the High Court in
Dublin yesterday
Sean Quinn, left, Sean Quinn Jnr and Peter Darragh Quinn leaving the High Court in Dublin yesterday

Dearbhail McDonald Legal Editor

THEY have avoided jail -- at least for now.

But bankrupt businessman Sean Quinn, his son Sean Quinn Jnr and nephew Peter Darragh Quinn have been given a three-week deadline to co-operate with the former Anglo Irish Bank or face an indefinite spell in prison.

The men have been warned that they could be imprisoned within weeks if they don't co-operate with a series of court orders to unravel complex financial transactions, which put overseas properties worth €500m beyond the reach of the former Anglo Irish Bank.

The men, who were flanked by a large number of supporters at the High Court in Dublin yesterday, must disclose all of their assets in Ireland and around the world to what is now the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC).

A receiver has been appointed to all of their personal assets -- aside from their family homes and bank accounts shared with their spouses or siblings.

The IBRC has secured a series of orders from High Court judge Ms Justice Elizabeth Dunne, who warned that she "would not sit idly by" and allow court orders to be broken.

The Quinns must comply before July 20 and the wide-ranging orders state they must:

• Resign from the board of directors or from any executive/managerial position within the Quinn International Property Group (IPG) or any company to which shares in IPG companies have been transferred.

• Disclose all documents relating to work carried out for them by international law firm Senat Legal Consultancy.

• Disclose all documents related to all off-shore or other companies purchased or controlled by Senat in connection with IPG companies.

• Disclose rental payments related to IPG companies and all directors and other agents of the companies.

Lawyers for the three men sought a postponement on Judge Dunne's orders in the event of an appeal by the Quinns against this week's dramatic finding that they were in contempt of court.

Refused

But this was refused and the men now have three weeks to prove they are co-operating with the IBRC, which says it has no idea about what is happening to $35m (€27.6m) in rental income from properties in the IPG.

On Tuesday, the men were found guilty of contempt of court for putting up to €500m of assets beyond IBRC's reach.

All three had admitted trying to put valuable overseas assets beyond the reach of the IBRC. But they insisted that any steps taken were before the High Court obtained an injunction against them last year ordering them not to interfere.

Yesterday, Judge Dunne said she was disappointed there was no acknowledgement by the three "even at this stage" of the "great wrongdoing" involved.

She said she was "mesmerised" by arguments that the bank was not entitled to several coercive orders on grounds it had not, in its original contempt motion, alleged the wider number of asset-stripping activities now claimed.

Those activities only emerged from evidence during the contempt hearing and it was quite clear other steps were taken outside of the specific contempts alleged, she added.

Irish Independent

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