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Anglo spy posed as State agent in probe -- Quinns

AN investigator acting for the former Anglo Irish Bank posed as a "Government agent" when he contacted the then fiancee of Sean Quinn Junior last year asking detailed questions about her personal affairs, it has been claimed before the Commercial Court.

The "Government agent" intimated to Karen Woods she was under an obligation to answer his questions, Niall McPartland, son in law of Sean Quinn Snr, said in an affidavit. Ms Woods married Sean Quinn Jnr earlier this year before he was jailed for contempt of court orders restraining asset stripping from Quinn companies.



challenge

The "agent" was Denis O'Sullivan of Risk Management International who contacted Ms Woods in June 2011 when she was not involved in any litigation between the Quinns and Anglo, now Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC), Mr McPartland said.

The claims were made as part of a challenge by family members of Sean Quinn Snr to the appointment of a receiver over their personal assets which began yesterday.

Mr Quinn's four daughters, Ciara, Colette, Brenda and Aoife, sons-in-law, Stephen Kelly and Niall McPartland, and daughter-in-law Karen Woods, are bringing the challenge and are representing themselves.

In his affidavit, Mr McPartland said Mr O'Sullivan told Ms Woods he was privy to a wide variety of information, including personal and financial information, about her and her wider family.

He refused to say how he got that information and instead tried to get further private and personal information while holding himself out as a representative of a "Government agency", he added.

Ms Woods had "real concerns" about her safety and privacy and had considered reporting the matter to gardai but an agreement was reached between the Quinn family's then solicitors, Eversheds, and lawyers for IBRC that Mr O'Sullivan would never contact Ms Woods again, he said.

Within two weeks of Eversheds being permitted to cease representing the family, Mr O'Sullivan made numerous attempts to contact her on her personal mobile and work phones, Mr McPartland said.

This was deeply concerning to Ms Woods due to her vulnerable situation with her husband jailed and she having no lawyers.

Ms Woods immediately contacted IBRC's solicitors who apologised and told her Mr O'Sullivan was seeking to serve her with legal proceedings, he said.

Alternative arrangements were made for service of the documents and a second agreement was reached Mr O'Sullivan would not contact Ms Woods again.

Mr McPartland said Mr O'Sullivan also attended over three days at the offices in Madeira and Portugal of a company, Bazzely (at the centre of litigation by the Quinn family aimed at avoiding liability for loans of €2.34bn to Quinn companies on grounds they were for the unlawful purpose of propping up Anglo's share price).



aggressive

Mr O'Sullivan, he alleged, behaved aggressively in trying unsuccessfully to get information on Bazzely for Anglo.

Mr McPartland further alleged the bank had placed some or all of the Quinn family under surveillance since it took over Quinn companies in April 2011 but this was denied by Richard Woodhouse of IBRC.

In an affidavit, Mr Woodhouse said IBRC never arranged for surveillance of the Quinns but had retained investigators to trace assets which they sought to put beyond the bank's reach.

hnews@herald.ie


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