An Irish developer allegedly diverted part of a $52m (€40m) fund for a Caribbean resort to buy expensive cars, a €50,000 diamond ring for his girlfriend and to lease a private plane, it has been claimed.
Padraig (Paudie) O'Halloran (40) also used the money given to his companies to fund a planned wedding in Ireland to be organised by Weddings by Franc Ltd -- the company of Brides of Franc TV star Peter Kelly -- to buy property in the Caribbean, and to renovate his rented Barbados home, it is claimed in court papers.
Mr O'Halloran is being sued here and in the Caribbean by David Ames, owner of two Caribbean registered companies who claims $52m was paid to O'Halloran's companies to build a major hotel and resort development in Buccament Bay in St Vincent and the Grenadines, which were allegedly left unfinished. Mr O'Halloran denies the claims.
The Irish proceedings were admitted to the Commercial Court this week. They concern the alleged transfer by Mr O'Halloran of some €1.14m to Bank of Ireland and Permanent TSB accounts. A freezing order on the accounts has been continued by the court to August.
A former employee of Mr O'Halloran's, Trisha Young, said in an affidavit the "key motive behind the siphoning off of funds was to continue to enable his beloved girlfriend Suzanne Floyd to live her lavish lifestyle".
In an alleged email to Ms Young of April 2009, Mr O'Halloran wrote: "I only ever ask for more money so I can send more to Suzanne,
" F*** Dave Ames, the p****, he knows nothing, I have lied to him about the value of work, I have lied about being able to finish by July 2010, I don't care, all I care about is Suzanne, she is my whole world."
The email allegedly goes on: "I have spent almost a million dollars on the house in Barbados, I have sent so much money to Suzanne to the tune of $306,000 plus $250,000 for salaries.
"Dave can go to hell, before I will finish his project I will spend his money and f*** off, he will never catch me."
In an affidavit, Mr O'Halloran, of Sandy Lane, Barbados said the allegations against him by Mr Ames and Ms Young are "unsubstantiated, untrue and highly prejudicial".
The Caribbean proceedings by David Ames' companies - Harlequin Property (SVG) Ltd and Harlequin Hotels and Resorts Ltd -- are also against Ms Floyd, of Goddington Park, Ashford, Kent, England.