Former accountant agrees not to reduce assets in three companies in liquidation

Former accountant agrees not to reduce assets in three companies in liquidation
 Mr Justice Michael Quinn ordered Mr. Hynes' cousin, Drank and Adrian O'Reilly to appear in court. picture: iStock

A former accountant has consented to a number of High Court orders over a liquidator's investigation into the running of three insolvent companies.

Alan Hynes has agreed not to reduce his assets below €2.46m or transfer, encumber or otherwise dealing in assets relating to Hynes Jewellers Wexford (HJW), JW Fashions (JWF), and Tuskar Property Holdings (TPH), all in liquidation, pending further hearing.

Last month, liquidator Myles Kirby was granted, on a one-side-only represented basis, an interim asset freezing order against Mr Hynes, and Mr Hynes' cousin Frank Hynes, arising out of the liquidator's investigations into the three firms.

The liquidator claims Alan Hynes effectively controlled and/or acted as a de-facto director of the companies during the term of a three-year disqualification and five-year restriction from directorships imposed on him by the High Court in October 2013 arising from his involvement in Tuskar Asset Management.

Alan Hynes was in court when, representing himself, he initially sought an adjournment of a hearing as to whether the orders should continue pending hearing. He said if he had more time, he would be able to provide information and explanations sought by the liquidator.

When Mr Justice Michael Quinn refused an adjournment, Mr Hynes said he was consenting to the orders, including the freezing order, not to deal in company assets and that he would supply information and accounts sought by the liquidator within four weeks.

There was no representation or appearance by his cousin Frank or another co-defendant Adrian O'Reilly, from Cambridge in England, a director of TPH, and the case against them was heard in their absence.

Mr Justice Quinn made the same orders against Frank as against Alan Hynes. He also ordered Frank and Mr O'Reilly to attend court for examination in relation to the liquidation investigation.

The judge did not make a freezing order against Mr O'Reilly, but said he must provide information in relation to his dealings with the company. A company called Tuskar Investment Group must not deal with or transfer assets and must provide information in relation to financial dealings concerning the liquidated companies.

Liquidator seeks a number of documents ahead of hearing in November

In the substantive proceedings against all respondents, due for hearing in November, the liquidator seeks a number of orders and declarations including that the three firms be wound up as one company as their affairs were commingled, that Alan Hynes acted as a shadow director, and that the Hynes cousins and Mr O'Reilly be made personally liable for the debts.

In an affidavit seeking last month's interim order, Mr Kirby said he has uncovered a series of improper transactions which amount to frauds on the companies and/or their creditors, who are owed €2.4m, the bulk of it in unpaid taxes due from the firms to Revenue.

The order was also against Huskar Investment Group which, the court heard, the liquidator believed was being used as an umbrella company for all the other firms and was the latest vehicle being used by Alan Hynes to seek to divert assets with a view to evading creditors.

The Hynes's family was involved in the jewellery trade in Wexford with the HJW firm.

Mr Kirby said his investigations had been hampered by a "striking lack of records and accounts and a lack of co-operation" by the Hynes and O'Reilly respondents. He believed Mr O'Reilly was acting under the direction of Alan Hynes.

Mr Kirby says the value of payments made by the TPH company between 2015 and 2020 was just over €1m in circumstances where this company had no discernible trade, turnover or declared tax during this time.

Most of those payments seem to have been made to the benefit of Alan and/or Frank Hynes, he said.

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