Challenge to €2,000 weekly expenses for Quinns
A HIGH Court judge has said he wants a lot more information from the adult children and relatives of bankrupt billionaire Seán Quinn before he will continue an order allowing them €2,000 a week each for living expenses.
Mr Justice Peter Kelly made the comments while hearing an application by Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC) to continue orders freezing assets of the family and appointing a receiver to a number of companies linked to them.
The family has essentially consented to those orders but has raised issues related to the powers of the receivers.
The bank said yesterday it was concerned to have just recently learned that all the Quinn defendants, with the exception of Brenda Quinn but including Seán Quinn jnr’s wife Karen Woods, had received, via companies based in Russia, after-tax salaries which totalled nearly €2.8 million since April last year to an unknown date this year.
There had also been the transfer of 100,000 shares of Quinn Insurances Sweden to a person called Noreen Maguire, about whom the bank knew nothing, for the sum of €10, Paul Gallagher SC, for the bank, said.
The freezing orders are being sought in the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation’s proceedings aimed at preventing dissipation of up to €500 million assets in the Quinn family’s international property group (IPG).
The court granted interim freezing orders last month preventing the Quinns from reducing their assets below €50 million and allowing them each up to €2,000 weekly living expenses pending the matter coming back before the court yesterday.
Freezing orders have been granted against the five Quinn children – Aoife, Ciara, Colette, Brenda and Seán jnr, their cousin Peter Darragh Quinn and two sons-in-law of Seán Quinn — Stephen Kelly and Niall McPartland.
A receiver has already been appointed over the assets of Seán Quinn jnr and Peter Darragh Quinn.
Mr Justice Kelly was told by Bill Shipsey SC, for the Quinns, that his instructing solicitors Eversheds would apply later this week for an order permitting them cease representing Peter Darragh Quinn as they had been unable to take instructions from him since early last Friday.
There was some difficulty about where notice of that application should be served and his side would seek to serve it by ordinary post at an address in Northern Ireland.
Peter Darragh Quinn did not attend a court hearing last Friday before Ms Justice Elizabeth Dunne where a three-month prison sentence was imposed on him, and on Seán Quinn jnr, for contempt of court for breaching orders restraining the Quinns putting assets in the IPG beyond the reach of the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation . Seán Quinn jnr remains in prison.
In relation to the bank’s application to continue the freezing order and appoint a receiver over companies which were based in Belize, Panama, Russia and United Arab Emirates, Mr Shipsey said his clients were consenting to those orders.
An issue in relation to the powers of the receiver, including over the Quinn passports, had been agreed on the basis that the receiver could take their passports, copy them and return them, Mr Shipsey added.