Sunday 25 February 2018

US officials may question Dunne's wife over finances

Sean Dunne and his wife Gayle Killilea. Photo: Tony Gavin
Sean Dunne and his wife Gayle Killilea. Photo: Tony Gavin

Orlaith Farrell

Gayle Killilea Dunne could be quizzed by bankruptcy officials in the US next month over her financial affairs.

The court-appointed trustee in her husband Sean Dunne's bankruptcy case has applied to a US judge to question the former journalist about money given to her by the former developer.

Richard Coan has also asked the court to find Mr Dunne in contempt for repeatedly failing to hand over information about his finances accusing him of "flouting court orders."

In his latest filings, the trustee says that Mr Dunne is "simply stalling and buying time" while he is being forced to "unravel a cloak and dagger financial shell game that spans three continents and (at least) four different countries."

He now wants the court to force Mr Dunne to hand over documents including recent pay stubs, tax returns and bank statements.

In the extensive demands for information about previous Irish business transactions and details of sales and transfers, Mr Coan has also asked for the opportunity to question the 59 year old again at another creditors meeting.

He also wants to talk to Ms Killilea, who he says has information relative to the case.

The Carlow-born businessman has previously told creditors that he gave his wife €100m in 2005 to secure her financial independence and in return for her "love and affection."

The 59-year-old also said that in 2010, Ms Killilea had sued him for $44m (€32m) on the back of that agreement to secure what was owed to her.

Now the trustee is seeking to ask Ms Killilea about those transactions at a closed meeting in his office on June 18.

It comes as the former 'Baron of Ballsbridge' yesterday failed to force a US court to outline how and when his dual bankruptcy would be handled in Ireland and America.

The bust developer had sought to make the trustee file promised 'protocol', outlining how he intended to manage his financial affairs in both countries.

Mr Dunne filed for bankruptcy in the US last year with debts of €700 million. Five months later he was declared bankrupt in Ireland, a ruling he is appealing to the Supreme Court.

Mr Dunne's lawyers argued that he was "just looking for a deadline" and that proceedings in Ireland were going ahead in the absence of protocol.

Lawyer for the trustee, Timothy Miltenberger said if he wanted to expedite proceedings, Mr Dunne could "co-operate more fully."

"An example: it's not clear to the trustee where Mr Dunne lives or where Ms Killilea lives."

Irish Independent

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