Fingers’ expense claims revealed

The extent to which Michael “Fingers” Fingleton claimed expenses from his former employer to fund a lavish outlay on designer goods, exclusive hotels, and extravagant entertainment of developers was laid bare in court yesterday.

Fingers’ expense claims revealed

Among the goodies it was claimed that the Irish Nationwide Building Society funded on foot of expense claims from their former CEO were:

*€3,255 for a present for Michael Smurfit from a liquor store in Saint Barthélemy in the Caribbean;

*A €1,000 Brown Thomas gift token for a daughter of developer Gerry Gannon;

*€6,000 for a Gucci watch bought at auction in 2006 by Mr Fingleton and later re-auctioned with the funds given to the Jack & Jill Foundation;

*€4,525 for New York jeweller, Maurice Columbus, and €8,000 for a Caribbean jeweller.

In addition, Mr Fingleton claimed €12,180 for dental fees over two months in 2008. According to court documents setting out the various expense claims from 2002, the society also paid €90,000 for pension advice and arrangements for Mr Fingleton.

Various sums were claimed for ritzy hotels and restaurants in a global array of cities including New York, Beverly Hills, Dubai, London, Marbella, Monaco, Moscow, St Petersburg, Scotland, Dublin, and Wicklow. The Waldorf Astoria and 21 Club in New York and Patrick Guilbaud’s in Dublin featured.

About €4,000 was claimed for entertainment for developers Sean Mulryan and Louis Scully, solicitor Paul Wallace, and others at Annabel’s Private Club, Berkeley Square, London.

A whopping €7,000 was paid for a two-night stay in Dublin’s Westbury Hotel in Feb 2009 for Mr Fingleton and five others described in the documents as “O’Hare, Parker, Empson, Dawson and McCollum”.

The hefty expense claims made by Mr Fingleton were revealed in the Commercial Court yesterday.

The court agreed to fast-track separate cases against Mr Fingleton and four former directors.

Mr Fingleton and others are being sued by the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation for tens of millions of euro over the management of the building society in the years before it was nationalised, when it ran up losses of more than €6bn.

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