The case is back before the High Court
Evidence given to the High Court by some members of the Quinn family about assets and bank accounts was “incredible, not complete, implausible and conflicting”, the High Court has heard.
Lawyers for IBRC have said the court must now assess if adequate disclosure had been made and consider if further orders are necessary.
Shane Murphy for IBRC said evidence about huge sums withdrawn from Russian bank accounts was “completely unbelievable”.
Evidence that they had no documents to prove huge cash withdrawals were used for legal fees was “inexplicable”, he said.
Mr Murphy is making submissions for the bank in an application before the High Court concerning disclosure by members of the Quinn family about alleged asset-stripping of the International Property Group of companies.
Members of the Quinn family were cross-examined for five days in January about their disclosure of assets and bank accounts.
Mr Murphy said evidence was given that huge sums of cash withdrawn in Ireland were used for legal fees, yet no bills or receipts could be accessed.
He said the “shutters had come down” with regard to the money trail and a confusing picture had emerged about what the money was used for.
Orders could be made directing Aoife Quinn to have a laptop forensically examined to retrieve deleted emails.
He said the “policy of deletion” outlined by the Quinns illustrated that full disclosure had not been made.
A number of striking features had emerged in evidence, he said, including the fact that none of the Quinns appeared to have copies of employment contracts or evidence of job descriptions, despite receiving large sums from Russian companies.
Salaries received by some of the Quinns from IPG companies were significantly larger than the Russian employees, often tenfold, illustrating that Seán Quinn Jnr played a major managerial and controlling role and not one of middle management as he had purported, he said.
There had been a lack of disclosure about the role some of the Quinns played in IPG companies, Mr Murphy said.
Documents existed that would show a level of control and leadership by Mr Quinn Jnr, Aoife Quinn and Stephen Kelly, he said.
IBRC has alleged widespread asset-stripping of Quinn companies.
The Quinns deny full disclosure has not been made.
Counsel for the Quinns, Martin Hayden SC, said the court would have to decide what exactly the order for disclosure was.
He said they were not seeking to avoid court orders or to be technical to avoid an obligation.
However, the process of disclosure differed from discovery, he said.
Disclosure orders did not go beyond the requirement of disclosing documents in the possession of a defendant, he said.
Discovery was a much broader concept, while disclosure was narrow.
The current orders being sought by the bank amounted to it seeking an “evidentiary trail to support its argument in the main action”.
Mr Hayden said it could not be a game of trial by ambush.
IBRC’s application for further disclosure orders was entirely artificial in relation to the Quinn IPG groups as the bank had already appointed a receiver over those companies and would already have the information.
Mr Justice Peter Kelly will give his judgment at a later date.
Tuesday February 05 2013 Irish Independent
Sean Quinn Jnr
THE jailed son of businessman Sean Quinn does not know where the rents generated by assets in the family’s international property group (IPG) have gone.
Mr Quinn Jnr has told the Commercial Court that he is “110pc” sure that he does not know where the lucrative rents have gone.
“Let me be struck dead when I leave this court if I am wrong,” Mr Quinn Jnr told High Court Judge Mr Justice Peter Kelly this afternoon during cross examination by lawyers for the former Anglo Irish Bank.
Sunday Feb. 3rd Independent
Aoife Quinn has a science degree and later studied law at Blackhall Place. She worked in Quinn Insurance, as a claims handler in the ‘fast-track’ section. So shouldn’t she be familiar with the legal process that requires litigants to disclose documents to each other, Paul Gallagher wanted to know. But Aoife said she didn’t have to deal with lawyers.
She drew a €379,000 salary from Russian companies over 12 months until last year, but had no bank statements. Her contract for such a big sum was in Russian, and she signed it without having it translated or even keeping a copy.
Colette Quinn like her sisters, she said she had no statements, just a text message each time the money landed in her account. And she was “not in the habit of keeping receipts” for what she spent it on.
At one point, Mr Justice Kelly reflected back on her evidence. So she had signed a contract that she didn’t understand, received a salary of €339,000 and has no documentation as to what her task were, he said.
“So whatever work it was, it was paperless,” he asked Colette. “That’s correct,” Colette shot back with a smile.
She, too, had already disclosed all documents in her possession. Mr Justice Kelly had heard this phrase so often that at one point, he called it a “mantra” of “no documents, no documents”.
The cross-examination continues this week, when Sean Jnr and Karen Woods will take the stand.
Jan. 30th Laois Nationalist
A son in law of bankrupt businessman Sean Quinn has told the Commercial Court he doesn’t have an active policy of keeping documents.
Under cross examination by lawyers for IBRC, Stephen Kelly said he had nothing to show how he spent his €260,000 salary from Russian companies in the Quinn’s property group.
IBRC’s lawyers say it is extraordinary and unbelievable that Stephen Kelly has kept a lot of commercial documents but has nothing relating to his salary.
Tuesday 29 Jan- Independent
A DAUGHTER of bankrupt tycoon Sean Quinn withdrew more than €30,000 every month from a cash machine over nearly a year to pay for legal fees, she told a court.
Ciara Quinn said she had no records or receipts of the fees being paid, as she generally handed the cash to her brother Sean Junior or sister Aoife, who then paid the lawyers
Ms Quinn told the Commercial Court she spent €339,921 – paid to her from the Quinn family’s property empire – between July 2011 and May 2012.
She said she usually withdrew the money, over the 11-month period, from a Bank of Ireland ATM in Blanchardstown, Dublin, using a Visa card.
Thursday, January 24, 2013 – 06:14 PM – Irish Examiner
A daughter of ex-billionaire Sean Quinn opened several bank accounts in Dubai after legal action was launched to stop the family asset-stripping their global property empire.
But Aoife Quinn said no money was ever lodged in the four accounts, which were opened in four different currencies – euro, US dollars, Sterling and a local currency – a year ago.
Ms Quinn told the Commercial Court she had no documents or records from the accounts as she handed them over to the family’s former legal team.
In the first day of disclosure hearings – originally expected to last two days but which have already been extended – Ms Quinn also claimed:
:: She was not sure of the amount of her six-figure salary from three Russian companies;
:: She never got email or written bank statements from her Moscow account, but only text messages confirming transactions;
:: Her mobile phone that contained those records was stolen;
:: She had no records on the 30% income tax she was paying to Russian authorities;
:: She feared people were rummaging through the Quinn family’s bins so stored away other records she thought were not important, because she did not have a shredder.
Sean Quinn – Innocent!!!
Sean Quinn said that he did not feel he should have been in prison in the first place.
He said the view was shared by his fellow prisoners: “I think 100 per cent of them felt I shouldn’t be there.
Never in my life did I steal a penny or take a penny that didn’t belong to me,” he added….he’s right of course he owes half a billion to the state now – but that’s different!
Quinn told his local radio station, Northern Sound, “If the assets under dispute are found to belong to the Irish public and that they were taken legally by Anglo Irish Bank, and the receivership of the Quinn Group and administration of the Quinn Direct was done legally and correctly, then we will apologize to the Irish public. What arrogance.
All the above appears to be standard Quinn defence –ignorance of all facts or else just totally think.
Standard Quinn Defence No.1, previous seen as “ah sure I am only a house wife”
Asked about two bonuses of about €50,000 paid to her from the companies, she said she could not recall the exact amount.
“I’m not sure of the figure,” she said.
“I’m not great with maths, especially in my head and especially under pressure.”
Standard Quinn Defence No.2 – I know I did a bad thing last year but because I was scared I destroyed all evidence & can’t do anything now.
“I believe that this was a reaction to the bank trying to take everything off us,” she said.
“That was our reaction whether it was right or not.”
Ireland has a shocking record of not punishing white collar crime but surly this shower of Gombeens should serve have to serve lengthy prison sentences.
All five children of fallen Irish billionaire Sean Quinn, who was once Ireland’s richest man, and three of their spouses will reportedly face cross-examination about their assets in the Irish High Court this week.
According to the Belfast Telegraph the Fermanagh businessman’s sons-in-law Stephen Kelly and Niall McPartland, as well as Karen Woods — the wife of Sean Quinn, Jnr — will be questioned about missing millions in rent money allegedly generated through the family’s international property group (IPG) as well as the significant salaries they received from Russian companies.
The Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC), the now state owned body that was formerly Anglo Irish Bank, froze the Quinns‘ accounts last July and disputed claims that they have provided full disclosure of their accounts and assets.
The bank also reportedly wants documents relating to control of companies in IPG, as well as assets, bank accounts and documents relating to salaries from Russian IPG companies in 2011 and 2012.
Last summer, Quinn’s daughter Aoife said their family did not have a ‘pot of gold’ hidden away, even though members of the family had drawn down almost $4 million in salaries from a Russian company since 2011
Mr Quinn has decided to begin the term imposed on him now despite the fact he is to appeal to the Supreme Court against findings he acted in outrageous contempt of court orders, his lawyer said.
Having been given time to consider the matter, Eugene Grant QC, for Mr Quinn, said his client wanted to begin his jail term now as, while he was maintaining his appeal, he was also conscious of the Supreme Court’s recent decision dismissing his son’s finding against a three month sentence for contempt.
Counsel said Mr Quinn was a 66-year-old grandfather and was anxious to attend a grandchild’s christening on December 22nd next but was not eligible for remission as this was a sentence for contempt. He asked that the court agree to release him for that event.
Miss Justice Elizabeth Dunne said an application for compassionate release would have to be made to the prison authorities.
Miss Justice Dunne earlier said Mr Quinn’s contempt was so serious that she could come to no other conclusion that it mandated a term of imprisonment.
She could not ignore the extent and degree of contempt by Mr Quinn and, taking all various matters into account, including his health problems, she would impose a nine-week term.
While Mr Quinn had spoken about how the court proceedings had negatively consumed his life and that of his family, she said: “In my view, he has only himself to blame.”
It was not disputed significant assets had been put beyond the reach of IBRC, the former Anglo Irish Bank, and the position of the Quinn defendants appeared to be they were so successful in that regard, they themselves could not retrieve the assets, the judge said. However, she did not have to decide that issue now.
The situation was IBRC claimed it was owed €2.8 billion by the Quinns and, while there was dispute about that, it was accepted €455 million was owed.
The judge had said she was imposing a nine-week term but the issue of whether there would be a serious dispute about that, it was accepted the Quinns owed €455 million to the bank, she said. Putting assets beyond the reach of the bank in defiance of the court’s orders was, as she had previously found, “nothing short of outrageous”.
It was important to ensure court orders were complied with and the integrity of the court system was not set at naught by “an egregious breach of court orders”.
A stay on the nine-week term pending an appeal against the findings of contempt was adjourned earlier today after Mr Quinn’s lawyer said he wanted time to consider whether to go to jail immediately or proceed with the appeal.
Shane Murphy SC, for IBRC, had said it would agree to a stay provided Mr Quinn’s lawyers progressed any appeal urgently.
However, at 12.50 today, Mr Grant said his client would begin his term now while maintaining the appeal.
In her decision today, the judge referred to her previous findings of contempt against Mr Quinn and her rejection of his evidence in the contempt hearing as not credible, evasive and uncooperative. She had also found he had given his imprimatur to the asset-stripping scheme.
She stressed the only issue she was dealing with today was the punitive aspect of the case as coercive matters have been adjourned. She was dealing with punitive issues arising from past non-compliance with court orders.
The judge delivered her ruling in a courtroom packed with lawyers, journalists and supporters of Mr Quinn. Mr Quinn’s son Sean and sons in law Niall McPartland and Stephen Kelly were also in court.
IBRC was represented in court today by its chief executive Mike Aynsley and senior executive Richard Woodhouse.
Mr Quinn was jailed arising from the judge’s findings last June that acted in contempt of court orders made in June and July 2011 restraining stripping of assets valued up to US$430 million from companies in the IPG.
Mr Quinn told reporters following the sentence that he just wanted to get on with the sentence. He intends to appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court.
AN IRISH company owned by a trust set up for the grandchildren of bankrupt businessman Seán Quinn was paid $650,000 last year by a Ukrainian company which is part of the international property group the State-owned Irish Bank Resolution Corporation wants to seize.
The money was paid into an AIB account in Blanchardstown, Dublin. The payments were made on foot of a contract agreed prior to the High Court ordering the Quinn family to stop asset-stripping the property group.
A second Irish company, owned by the wider Quinn family, was also paid substantial amounts in 2011.
The previously unreported payments are set out in an affidavit of Seán Quinn jnr, filed by him to the High Court in July when he was sent to jail for contempt.
In the document, Mr Quinn sets out certain matters concerning Cranre Property Services Ltd, with an address in Blanchardstown, Dublin.
The company was incorporated in April last year. Mr Quinn’s brothers-in-law, Niall McPartland and Stephen Kelly, are its directors, and the company’s shares are held by a Swedish entity, Irish Trust AB.
Mr Quinn jnr said in his affidavit to Ms Justice Elizabeth Dunne that the company was ultimately owned by the Cranaghan Foundation, a foundation set up for the benefit of his parents’ grandchildren.
He said that in April 2011, the company took over a services contract with Univermag, a company operating a shopping mall in Kiev. The contract was agreed at a time when IBRC was seizing the Quinn Group from the family.
Mr Quinn jnr said he was advised by Mr Kelly that the terms of the contract were agreed between Mr Kelly and Larissa Yanez Puga, who ran Univermag for the family and whom the bank has been trying to depose.
Cranre received a $350,000 signing-on fee on July 8th, 2011, two payments of $100,000 each on September 2nd, 2011, and a further payment of $100,000 on September 3rd, arising from invoices for the months of June, July and August 2011.
Mr Quinn said he was told by Mr Kelly that Michael Waechter, of Senat FZC, Dubai, sourced a company called Letynaya, to act as a property services company in relation to the Kiev mall. Letynaya is based in the United Arab Emirates.
Mr Kelly agreed a contract between Cranre and Letynaya in August 2011, according to Mr Quinn. As part of this contract, Letynaya was to be paid €320,000 by Cranre, which it was in November 2011.
Since then, he said, the family has ended its role with Univermag and has sought the return of some of the money paid to Letynaya. “Letynaya refused this request,” Mr Quinn said in his affidavit.
He said the balance of the money that remained with Cranre “was used to pay general offi
THE Supreme Court has queried how the jailed son of bankrupt businessman Sean Quinn can complain about being in prison when he has not purged his contempt.
Mr Quinn Jnr was jailed last July for breaking court orders not to interfere with the family’s €500m international property group (IPG) and his lawyers claim it was wrong to subject him to the prospect of an indefinite spell in prison.
The High Court has kept his father out of jail to force Sean Quinn Snr to comply with orders to reverse asset transfers out of the IPG.
The Supreme Court noted that Mr Quinn Jnr has not yet purged his contempt, despite claims that he was being held in prison as “hostage for the chieftain”.
“How can he complain about being committed to prison?” asked Supreme Court Judge Mr Justice Donal O’Donnell.
Mr Quinn’s lawyers said that there was no precedent before the court to jail a defendant to force the hand of another.
The Supreme Court also heard that no contempt application had been moved against any other member of the Quinn family apart from the tree who have already been found guilty of contempt of court.
Today the former Anglo Irish Bank will ask the Supreme Court to admit fresh material gleaned from a damaged computer in Russia to prove Mr Quinn Jnr was a “key player” – right up until the time he was jailed last July.
The IBRC (formerly Anglo) claims the family of Sean Quinn Snr stood to receive more than €250m in severance fees from Russian companies within their international property group (IPG).
The bank, which moves its case later today, has claimed in court papers that an email of July 25, 2011, copied to Sean Quinn Jnr by his brother-in-law Stephen Kelly had requested that Russian employment contract documents for members of the Quinn family be backdated.