Heiress’s $3m fraud case against Irish lover settled

A High Court action brought by 60-year-old American woman who claimed she was defrauded of millions by her younger Irish lover has been settled.

Elisa Rodino alleged Thomas J Queally, who had been engaged to her, had stolen about $4m (€3.1m) of her money — a large portion of which was lodged by him into a bank in Ennis, Co Clare.

She also claimed that Mr Queally, whom she has not seen for months, had been living a double life and had another fiancee while engaged to her.

Mr Queally, who is in his mid 40s, denied the claims, and said while he was in involved in relationship with Ms Rodino, he was never engaged to her.

He rejected her allegations that he transferred money to Ireland from a joint bank account in the US to his bank account in Ireland without her authorisation.

The action was due before the High Court in Dublin at the end of April.

Yesterday Ms Rodino’s lawyers told Ms Justice Mary Laffoy the case has been settled. No terms of the settlement were revealed in open court.

The Judge agreed to adjourn the matter to a date in April to allow for the final terms of the settlement agreement be committed to writing. Neither Ms Rodino nor Mr Queally were in court yesterday.

Late last year Ms Rodino’s lawyers secured temporary freezing orders against Mr Queally, of Sherman Avenue, Yonkers, New York, who is originally from Lahaknock, Kilmaley, Co Clare.

They prevented him reducing, dissipating or transferring funds below a value of €1.6m held in a savings account at Permanent TSB in Ennis, Co Clare.

Ms Rodino, of Cathedral Avenue, Hempstead, New York, alleged that the money in the Ennis bank account, approximately $2m was hers. She claimed it was moved by Mr Queally from a joint account held in the US in both their names.

Ms Rodino’s Irish lawyers, when securing the freezing orders against Mr Queally, told the High Court that she was a vulnerable woman who had been taken advantage of by Mr Queally, whom she first met in 2007.

She had said that she inherited a sizeable property portfolio from her late father.

Last October, she claimed Mr Queally was due to meet her in Spain, but he never showed up. When she arrived back in the US she discovered money had been allegedly transferred to the bank in Ennis and to a US bank account.

She also brought a legal action against him in New York, where she alleges that Mr Queally misappropriated property as well as cash from her.

Mr Queally denied all the allegations made against him in both the Irish and US courts.

It is understood that efforts are being made between the parties to resolve the New York proceedings.


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