Bank had Quinn family watched, court is told
AN INVESTIGATOR acting for the former Anglo Irish Bank posed as a “government agent” when he contacted the then fiancee of Seán Quinn Junior last year asking detailed questions about her personal affairs, it has been claimed before the Commercial Court.
The “government agent” intimated to Karen Woods (who married Seán Quinn jnr earlier this year before he was jailed for contempt of court orders restraining asset stripping from Quinn companies) that she was under an obligation to answer his questions, Niall McPartland, son-in-law of Seán Quinn snr, said in an affidavit.
The “government agent” was Denis O’Sullivan of Risk Management International, who contacted Ms Woods in June 2011 when she was not involved in any litigation between the Quinns and Anglo (now Irish Bank Resolution Corporation), Mr McPartland said.
Mr O’Sullivan told Ms Woods he was privy to a wide variety of information, including personal and financial information, about her and her wider family but refused to say how he got that information and instead tried to get further private and personal information while holding himself out as a representative of a “government agency”, he added.
Ms Woods had “real concerns” about her safety and privacy and had considered reporting the matter to the Garda but an agreement was reached between the Quinn family’s then solicitors, Eversheds, and lawyers for IBRC that Mr O’Sullivan would never contact Ms Woods again, he said.
Within two weeks of Eversheds being permitted last August to cease representing the family, Mr O’Sullivan made numerous attempts over a 24-hour period to contact her on her personal mobile and work phones, Mr McPartland said. Ms Woods contacted IBRC’s solicitors, who apologised and told her Mr O’Sullivan was seeking to serve her with legal proceedings, he said.
Mr McPartland further alleged that the bank had placed some or all of the Quinn family under surveillance since it took over Quinn companies in April 2011 but this was denied by Richard Woodhouse of IBRC.
In an affidavit, Mr Woodhouse said IBRC never arranged for surveillance of the Quinns but had retained investigators to trace assets which they sought to put beyond the bank’s reach.
Mr O’Sullivan contacted Ms Woods in summer 2011 about her having being named as a shareholder of a Ukrainian company set up for the movement of assets, he said. It was later agreed Ms Woods would not be contacted again at a stage when IBRC was not aware of the extent of her involvement or that she was receiving a very substantial “salary” from Russian companies in the Quinn’s international property group, he said.