Quinn family action denying liability for Anglo loans set for hearing early next year

A picture of Sean Quinn Snr in 2016

By Ann O'Loughlin

The action by Sean Quinn's wife Patricia and members of her family denying liability for €2.34 billion loans advanced by the former Anglo Irish Bank to Quinn companies appears set for hearing early next year.

That action, plus a separate action by IBRC, Anglo's successor in title, alleging various Quinn family members and others conspired to put multi-million assets beyond the bank's reach, has been on hold pending the hearing of criminal proceedings against various Anglo executives and officials, including the bank's former CEO David Drumm.

The family's action has been provisionally fixed for hearing in January next with the IBRC action, referred to as the conspiracy action, to be heard at a later date.

Today, when dealing with pre-trial applications in the conspiracy action, Mr Justice Robert Haughton was told IBRC had reached an agreement with Sean Quinn Junior and his wife Karen Woods concerning payment of living expenses, legal fees and for sale of two Dublin properties.

IBRC had reached an agreement with Sean Quinn Junior, pictured, and his wife Karen Woods concerning payment of living expenses, legal fees and for sale of two Dublin properties.

The court was previously told Mr Quinn Junior and his wife, who have three children, are not in paid work and get living expenses, totalling some €100,000 annually, from accounts controlled by receivers appinted over their assets.

Mr Quinn Junior, the court heard, has been working unpaid since sumer 2017 as part-time CEO of his father's new business, QuinnBet, because it was a start up with insufficient funds so far to pay him a salary.

The expenses applications by the couple, and property sale applications by IBRC, arose in the context of orders made by the High Court in 2012 freezing accounts and assets of various members of the Quinn family subject to payment of reasonable living expenses and funds for legal fees. The orders apply pending the full hearing of the conspiracy case.

Today Mr Justice Haughton was told the expenses and sale applications were not proceeding as the sides had agreed on various orders, including for sale of two properties, an apartment owned by Mr Quinn at Clarion Quay, North Wall, and a property of Ms Woods' at Lower Kimmage Road.

The sale proceeds will be lodged to an account to be used for payment of the couple's living expenses.

Other orders permit the couple enter an agreement with the current mortgagee of a property at Alder Lodge, Farmleigh Woods, Castleknock, aimed at extending by two years the period of a loan of €210,000 granted by the mortgagee.

They are also permitted borrow a further €50,000 from the mortgagee on further security of the Alder Lodge property. The €50,000 will be lodged to an account established by the receivers to provide a fund for their expenses and to pay legal fees as agreed.

A further order permits Ms Woods to encash all remaining investments held by her with Jefferies & Co with the resulting funds to be paid to an account held by the receivers. The funds realised from the Jefferies accounts will also go towards payment, subject to conditions, of living and legal expenses.

Once the sale of the two properties is finalised, the funds realised from Jefferies and used for living expenses will be reimbursed by the couple to a separate account, controlled by the receivers and subject to the freezing orders.

The court was asked to note IBRC will object to any further attempts by Mr Quinn and his wife to access the funds at issue for the purpose of paying living or legal expenses.

Other orders require Ms Woods and other Quinn defendants to disclose any documents/information in their possession concerning the sale of shares from a company, Mack Soft Tech Pty Ltd, to Mecon FZE and/or Logvis AG and concerning any subsequent dealings in the assets or funds of Mack Soft Tech Pty Ltd.

Those documents are sought in the context of IBRC's continuing investigations into alleged asset stripping.

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