Dunne’s wife wants visa files kept secret

Gayle Killilea Dunne wants to keep secret more than 100 documents linked to her finances and a visa application to the US.

Dunne’s wife wants visa files kept secret

She claims the documents are privileged and should not be released to Nama as it prepares for her husband Seán Dunne’s bankruptcy trial.

The documents are held by two banks and a lawyer subpoenaed by Nama as it increasingly focuses its attention on the developer’s wife, claiming Mr Dunne transferred cash and assets to her to hide millions of dollars from his creditors.

Mr Dunne filed for bankruptcy in Connecticut a year ago, listing debts of nearly $1bn (€720m).

Nama, through its subsidiary National Asset Loan Management, launched an adversary action against Mr Dunne, claiming he has been less than truthful about his financial affairs.

The initial bankruptcy case is also continuing, with a creditors’ meeting two weeks ago hearing how Mr Dunne transferred €58m to his wife to buy a house on Dublin’s Shrewsbury Road.

Mrs Killilea Dunne objected to the subpoenas, which ordered two banks, First Republic and Credit Suisse, to hand over all her financial records. Her lawyer called it a “massive fishing expedition” irrelevant to the action.

A New York lawyer, Philip Teplen, was also subpoenaed for his files, most of them relating to his work on securing visas for the Irish couple.

The judge overseeing the case ordered that Mrs Killilea Dunne submit a log with a list of documents she claims are privileged and should not be released. She did, listing a total of nearly 140, 69 held by the banks — account statements, wire and asset transfer receipts, year end tax statements and transaction sums — and 69 by the lawyer, most concerning the visa applications.

In a filing, NALM objected, arguing there was insufficient information in the log to test the claim of privilege and that some of the documents were not privileged. Crucially, it claims Mrs Killilea Dunne has already handed over some financial documents created by the banks and therefore cannot claim the rest should be secret.

NALM argued that the “selective disclosure and withholding of documents makes it impossible for NALM to obtain a complete picture of the Debtor’s and/or the Movants’ financial transactions conducted at the subject banks”.

“Presumably, the Movants have withheld prejudicial documents while producing documents that are less damaging to their defence or that do not assist NALM in supporting its claims.

“It is well settled, however, that a party cannot cherry-pick favorable documents to disclose and retain others.”

The judge will rule on the matter after hearing Mrs Killilea Dunne’s privacy arguments.

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