Thursday 18 January 2018

Sean FitzPatrick in court over £1.25m London property deal

Sean FitzPatrick
Sean FitzPatrick

Tim Healy

A High Court judge is hearing evidence about former Anglo Chairman Sean FitzPatrick's involvement in investments in property in London in bankruptcy proceedings.

Mr FitzPatrick, who is estimated to have debts of €150m and assets of €47m, is in court for the hearing before Ms Justice Elizabeth Dunne.

He was declared bankrupt in July 2010.

Today, Mark Redmond, a former employee of Anglo who was involved in managing accounts and investments of Mr Fitzpatrick and his family, was asked about a Stg £1.25m investment in the Woolgate exchange in London of November 2006.

He said details of the investment opportunity were provided by D2 Private. That company was a customer of the bank, he agreed.

Mr Redmond said Mr Fitzpatrick had made an initial £1m investment in the property and then offered to purchase another unit for £250,000 from which Mr Redmond was to get the upside.

"I was delighted," he said.

He would have been unable to afford the investment himself as he was on a salary of about €50,000, he said.

Asked about dociuments stating Mr Redmond was the investor for the additional £250,000 sum, he said the investment was in his (Mr Redmond's name) but it "was kind of Sean's investment" and was to be held on trust for Mr Fitzpatrick.

He agreed he had prepared a typed note which stated Mr Fitzpatrick had agreed to provide Mark Redmond with a "loan" of Stg£250,000 and that Mr Redmond agreed to repay the loan in full with interest when the loan matured. He agreed Mr Fitzpatrick had asked him to prepare the note but denied it was an accurate reflection of the arrangement between them.

The note was prepared "for Sean's purposes" but did not reflect the actual arrangement, he said.

When the investment matured, Mr Fitzpatrick would get the costs of the investment and he, Mr Redmond, would get the upside, he said. "The 250 was for Sean," he said.

He denied the arrangement was that Mr Fitzpatrtick had made him a loan and he had to repay it.  It was not a loan, he insisted. He denied a suggestion his characterisation of the £250,000 investment "made no sense".

Last July the High Court was told the official assignee, the court official handling Mr FitzPatrick's bankruptcy, wanted to inquire into the ownership of the London property.

The application was adjourned a number of times to allow statements to be submitted to the court but it opened today. The hearing continues.

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