Saturday 17 March 2018

Former executive claims he was 'encouraged' to undervalue loans

Enda Farrell. Photo: Mark Condren
Enda Farrell. Photo: Mark Condren
The property in Lucan that Mr Farrell bought and sold. Photo: Bryan Meade

Paul Williams

A FORMER NAMA executive who admits passing classified information to third parties has claimed that he was "encouraged" to deliberately undervalue property loans.

Enda Farrell has handed a dossier to gardai containing emails and other correspondence which he claims proves leaking was rife within the secretive agency.

The ex-property portfolio manager has alleged that he is just one of a number of people to hand confidential documents to outside companies.

He is the first person from the agency to be questioned by gardai about alleged impropriety at the world's biggest property management company.

The Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation has submitted a file to the DPP recommending that Mr Farrell be charged with leaking sensitive commercial data to outside companies.

Mr Farrell has admitted the offences, but has told officers that he was "instructed to breach the confidentiality restrictions in the NAMA legislation and to (breach) banking confidentiality and date protection law generally".


In statements made to gardai he said that some within NAMA were "hell bent" on beating valuations made by banks so that the agency "could be shown in a good light later".

Mr Farrell has also claimed that he and others in the state agency leaked highly sensitive material relating to businessman Paddy McKillen's private and business affairs. In one of a number of admissions, the former executive claims he met with a named female and "gave her everything" he had on file within NAMA on Mr McKillen's financial affairs.

The Irish Independent revealed yesterday that lawyers for the developer have written to Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan claiming that the "inexplicable behaviour" by an officer of NAMA has "seriously jeopardised" his business interests.

We can now reveal that Mr Farrell has told gardai that he witnessed officials "bragging" about "how brilliantly" €8m of the developer debt was dealt with.

During one interview with detectives he claimed to have evidence that a NAMA official was wined and dined in London's exclusive Groucho Club in a meeting that raised serious questions about a conflict of interest.

In an attempt to explain his behaviour Mr Farrell has said that he was under "overwhelming pressure" in a job that he was not qualified to do.

He compares himself to the main character in the film 'The Hurt Locker' which tells the story of a US army bomb disposal team in Iraq.

A source explained: "He described himself as a foot soldier dealing with a bomb that could go off at any minute. He said that he was constantly under sniper fire from the banks and colleagues in NAMA."

After leaving NAMA, in February 2012, Mr Farrell went to work for a UK private equity property firm called Forum Partners. The company was scouring the Irish market for distressed debt deals. It later emerged that he bought a five-bedroom property that was on NAMA's books without disclosing the deal to his employers.

The house in Lucan, Co Dublin, was worth €1.4m in 2004, but Mr Farrell purchased the house for €410,000. He went on to sell it for a 16pc profit.

The concern was not the price paid for the house but rather Mr Farrell's status as a NAMA insider.

Further investigations revealed that Mr Farrell had leaked a large volume of information to potential buyers of NAMA assets overseas.

Irish Independent

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