Tuskar Asset Management ‘investigated by Fraud Squad’
Liquidator Neil Hughes of Hughes Blake makes claim at Chartered Accountants’ Regulatory Board tribunal
Accountant Alan Hynes, from Wexford, arriving at a hearing of the Chartered Accountants’ Regulatory Board, in Dublin, on Tuesday. Photograph: Eric Luke
The Garda Fraud Squad is believed to be conducting an ongoing investigation into Tuskar Asset Management (Tam), the property investment business that collapsed in 2009, an accountancy disciplinary tribunal was told yesterday.
Tam liquidator Neil Hughes of Hughes Blake told a disciplinary tribunal of the Chartered Accountants Regulatory Board yesterday that he was interviewed at length by the Garda last year or possibly the year before.
The tribunal is investigating complaints against Alan Hynes, a driving force behind Tam, and a director of the group holding company. Tam collapsed with the loss of millions of euro of investors’ money.
Mr Hughes said he believed the Garda inquiry was ongoing. His interview had covered much of the same ground as was being covered by the tribunal, he said.
Mr Hughes told the tribunal Mr Hynes has refused to account for €3.1 million in investor money that he said never ended up in Tam accounts.
He has also been asked by the tribunal about money paid to Mr Hynes or companies associated with him, by Tam, which was based in Mr Hynes’s Wexford accountancy practice, Hynes & Co.
Yesterday Mr Hughes, on the second day of the hearing, said he would have to initiate legal proceedings to force Mr Hynes and his wife Noreen to transfer to Tam the shares in a Bulgarian company that owns four acres of development land on the Black Sea shore.
He said Mr Hynes had sworn a statement of affairs saying the asset belonged to Tam, but was refusing to hand over the shares. The couple were trying to “unjustly enrich themselves” at the cost of the Tam investors, he said.
Alan Cormack BL, for Mr Hynes, said his client was holding his shares as a nominee and that Mrs Hynes’ position was that she had not been paid for the property. The site was bought with €500,000 of Tam money in 2007 from a Joe Kelly and a partnership comprising Mr Hynes and Mrs Hynes, the tribunal was told.