Developer Seán Dunne (65) has suffered a major setback in his legal dispute with one of his sons over the multi-million euro proceeds from the sale of a Dublin mansion.
Earlier this year the bankrupt 'Baron of Ballsbridge' issued proceedings against John Dunne (32) in New York, where his son lives, over €11.6m he claims is owed to a trust for four of his other children.
But the businessman has suffered a setback after a US court gave permission for his bankruptcy trustee, Richard Coan, to intervene in the case.
The trustee is opposing the lawsuit and has sought court approval to receive the cash as part of the settlement of a fraudulent transfer lawsuit.
Moves by Mr Dunne to keep the case in a New York court also failed after a motion by his son and Mr Coan to move the case to a Connecticut court was approved.
The Carlow-born developer filed for bankruptcy in the US state in 2013 with debts of around €700m.
The decision on Monday by a New York District Court to move the case means the high-stakes lawsuit could be dealt with by a judge already familiar with the protracted bankruptcy during which Mr Dunne has been held in contempt of court. His case against his son revolves around the proceeds from the sale of Walford, on Shrewsbury Road, Dublin, a property now owned by a trust linked to financier Dermot Desmond, which bought it for around €14m in 2016.
It became Ireland's most expensive home in 2005 when Mr Dunne bought it for his then wife Gayle Killilea (45) for €57.9m.
But they never lived there and its beneficial ownership would become a major issue in the bankruptcy.
Last year a US jury found Ms Killilea should pay €18m to the trustee in respect of assets which were fraudulently transferred by her ex-husband. The sum included the €14m proceeds from the sale of Walford.
What remained of this money was held in a Swiss bank account by Yesreb Holdings, of which John Dunne was the principal.
The cash was transferred to the trustee in February as part settlement of the fraudulent asset transfer finding.
Mr Dunne tried to block the transfer, claiming the cash was owed to a trust for four children he had with Ms Killilea.
This was disputed by lawyers for Ms Killilea and John Dunne, Seán Dunne's son from a previous marriage.
In a court filing earlier this year, John Dunne denied no less than 17 allegations made by his father. While he admitted he was the sole director of Yesreb, he denied holding shares for his half-siblings or that it was intended he would act for their benefit as director.
He also denied his father's claim that if the funds were depleted, his half-siblings would be "robbed of the benefits owed to them".