Bank seeks to examine Quinn children
An application for orders to cross-examine the children and other family members of jailed businessman Sean Quinn about their assets and incomes is a legally impermissible "fishing expedition" by the former Anglo Irish Bank, lawyers for the family have told the Commercial Court.
Martin Hayden SC, for the Quinns, today urged Mr Justice Peter Kelly to refuse the application.
Counsel added his side was appealing to the Supreme Court against separate orders by the judge requiring the Quinns to provide details of their tax and financial affairs back to 2009, plus laptops, mobile phones and other devices, to a receiver appointed by the bank over their personal assets. That matter comes before the Supreme Court next Friday.
The application by Irish Bank Resolution Corporation, formerly Anglo, for orders permitting cross-examination of the five Quinn children - Aoife, Brenda, Ciara, Colette and Sean Jnr - and three of their spouses - Stephen Kelly, Niall McPartland and Karen Woods - about their accounts and assets concluded today. Mr Justice Kelly said he hoped to give judgment next week.
The bank alleges inadequate disclosure relating to control by Quinn family members of the companies in the Quinn's international property group and concerning off-shore or other companies to which it believes assets were transferred. It also believes some assets and bank accounts have not been diclosed.
Documents relating to salaries the defendants obtained from IPG companies in 2011 and 2012 are also sought, plus related bank statements and documents related to payments to the Quinns’ legal advisers.
The Quinns have strongly opposed the application. Mr Hayden said they had complied with orders requiring them disclose their assets and accounts but the bank, having been told of payments received by some of his clients, now wanted to know where that money had gone to when that was not covered by the orders.
The Quinn defendants say they have discovered all documents available to them concerning their assets, including considerable documents provided this week but cannot at this stage discover other documents in the possession of their former solicitors because of costs issues.
They have also denied controlling companies in the IPG or knowing the whereabouts of rental incomes from those companies, Mr Hayden said. The issue of the whereabouts of rent from the Russian company owner of the most valuable asset in the IPG, the Kutuzoff Tower in Moscow, was subject to litigation in Moscow, he added.
All of the defendants, except Brenda Quinn, had said they had bank accounts with Ocean Bank in Moscow but they could not provide bank statements as that bank operates via text messages which they had disclosed.
Mr Hayden also argued the bank should not be permitted cross-examine them in advance of the hearing next April of their own action in which the children and their mother argue they are not liable for loans of €2.8 billion advanced to Quinn companies by Anglo because those loans were made in an illegal effort to prop up the bank's share price.
Shane Murphy SC, for IBRC, argued this was not a fishing expedition but a focused application and all of the defendants had a case to answer as the bank alleged they were all part of a conspiracy to strip assets.
The bank did not accept there was full disclosure of accounts and assets and its concerns included that, while Sean Quinn Junior had told the High Court one IPG company, Logistika, was sold out of the family's control in July 2011, documents indicated Aoife Quinn and her husband Stephen Kelly were involved with that company after that date.
While Colette Quinn had identified detailed transactions from her account with Ocean Bank in Moscow, the other defendants who held such accounts had not done the same, counsel also said. The court was told those transactions included withdrawals totalling €16,000 on June 14th last and that monies were apparently withdrawn from the Ocean Bank account from ATMs in Cavan to pay expenses including food at Eddie Rocket's and items from the River Island store.