Quinns had lucrative job terms, court is told
MEMBERS OF Seán Quinn’s family had employment contracts with Russian companies that entitled them to payments of up to €7.5 million each if they were the subjects of “assassination attempts”, the Supreme Court has been told.
The entitlement was part of contracts that led to their receiving six-figure annual salaries up to July of this year, the court heard.
They were also entitled to payments of up to €36 million each if their employment was terminated.
The contracts were signed just days after the High Court made orders restraining the family from stripping assets from those and other companies.
According to emails salvaged from a “deliberately smashed” computer in the offices of one of the Russian companies, the contracts provided for substantial annual wages up to €560,000 each and a wide range of benefits.
Arrangements to draft and sign the contracts were made by family members days before and on the eve of a July 20th, 2011, High Court application by Irish Bank Resolution Corporation, formerly Anglo Irish Bank, for orders restraining the stripping of assets worth up to $430 million from the family’s international property group. Other emails showed Seán Quinn jnr dealing with snow removal, canteen and electricity issues for Russian companies this year, months after the family told the High Court they had lost control of those companies, Paul Gallagher, for IBRC, said.
The emails were obtained by an administrator appointed for the bank to one of the Russian companies, Finansstroy, owner of the valuable Kutuzoff Tower in Moscow, and showed the Quinns had given “utterly false” evidence in the High Court contempt proceedings about not being in control of the Russian companies, counsel said.
These and other matters should persuade the Supreme Court to uphold a High Court finding Seán Quinn jnr was lawfully jailed last July 20th for contempt of orders made by the High Court in June and July 2011 restraining stripping of asets so as to place them beyond the reach of IBRC, he said.
Counsel was making submissions in the continuing appeal by Quinn jnr against a High Court finding of June last that he was in contempt of the June and July 2011 orders via participation in a $500,000 payment to Larrisa Puga, general director of Quinn Properties Ukraine, in late August 2011, just before the bank took over that company. The appeal is also against a July 20th order jailing Quinn jnr following failure to comply with some 30 coercive orders aimed at reversing the Puga payment and other asset-stripping measures.
The appeal opened on Tuesday but ran longer than the two days allocated and has been adjourned to Wednesday when it is expected to conclude with judgment reserved. Mr Justice Donal O’Donnell observed that Quinn jnr appeared to be arguing that, while the family had “double-crossed” the bank via an asset stripping scheme which they argued had stopped when the June/July 2011 orders were made, they themselves were double-crossed by Russian lawyers and others dealing with the assets, and as a result could not reverse the scheme they had put in motion.