The leader of a mysterious trust, which thousands of debtors believed would protect €2bn worth of assets, has been arrested after moving into one of the properties signed into his organisation.
Charles Allen Snr, of Prior Park, Inistigoe, Kilkenny, was discovered in an outbuilding behind the 212-year-old Lotamore House in Cork.
The main house is boarded up and the estate was recently sold by Savills, for the receivers, for below its €1.3m asking price. The outbuildings are being fitted out.
Mr Allen is due to appear before the High Court in Dublin this morning. His whereabouts came to light after a tip-off to the Irish Examiner yesterday and, having confirmed his presence at Lotamore, gardaí were contacted and the warrant was executed.
When he was initially confronted by this newspaper, Mr Allen claimed Lotamore was his property. He threatened to call the gardaí on the grounds that we were trespassing. He escorted us off the 11-acre property and pulled his Range Rover across the driveway to block access.
New chains had already been attached to the fence crossing the entrance, a small caravan was pulled into the courtyard and two men were working with a cherry-picker on the electrical connections.
The new owner was understood to be unaware of Mr Allen’s presence.
Lotamore was one of thousands of commercial, agricultural and residential properties which people have paid at least €300-per-folio to have signed into a trust connected to the freeman of the land ideology.
Mr Allen had been a fugitive since the High Court issued a bench warrant for his arrest on Sept 27, after he was deemed to be in contempt for failing to respond to a summons.
In August, his organisation, the Rodolphus Allen Private Family Trust, led a cross- country motorcade and twice ousted receivers from the Kennyscourt stud farm in Kildare. The property was soon surrendered back to the receivers and Mr Allen, the owner of the property Eugene McDermott, and political activist Ben Gilroy, were all summoned to court to answer allegations of trespass.
All three men initially did not respond to this summons and the judge issued bench warrants. Mr Allen initially relocated to Newry, Co Down, where the warrant could not be acted on.
In October, the Irish Examiner confronted him in Newry and on that day he was continuing to sign in new properties.
More recently there had been reports that he had held meetings in Cork but it was not known if he was accepting new fees or handling existing files.
Thousands of indebted homeowners, businesspeople and developers had paid Mr Allen to join his trust, but so far it has failed on each occasion when it was tested.
According to its own formation documents, the trust has explicitly set about fulfilling each persons’ “eternal spiritual quest for self-realisation”. But it has refused to set out its legal strategy.
Recently High Court judge Peter Kelly described the correspondence from the trust as “nonsense” when it had been used in attempt to thwart the receivership of €51m in loans tied to the Submarine Bar and Ashleaf complex in Dublin.
Last Thursday, the owner of Kennyscourt stud farm, Eugene McDermott, appeared in court and purged his contempt by apologising for his actions. His property has been sold.
And on Friday, the third person who was the subject of an arrest warrant, Mr Gilroy, made a second appearance after he was arrested on the same grounds. A full hearing on this action is scheduled to take place on Jan 21.
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