Revenue blocks Longford car dealer’s Belfast bankruptcy application

Judge says move by John Alex Kane was an ‘abuse of process’

John Alex Kane  originally applied for bankruptcy in the North in June 2012, although the application was rescinded five months later following an objection from Revenue. Photograph: Joe St Leger/The Irish Times

John Alex Kane originally applied for bankruptcy in the North in June 2012, although the application was rescinded five months later following an objection from Revenue. Photograph: Joe St Leger/The Irish Times

Tue, Nov 5, 2013, 11:49

The Revenue Commissioners have succeeded in blocking the Northern Ireland bankruptcy of a Longford car dealer who owes €5 million in unpaid taxes. It is the first time Revenue has challenged a bankruptcy application outside of the State.

The High Court in Belfast rejected the application of John Alex Kane, who fled to Northern Ireland in 2010 after Revenue obtained a judgment against him and he was held to be in contempt of court.

Mr Kane had originally applied for bankruptcy in the North in June 2012, although the application was rescinded five months later following an objection from Revenue.

Revenue had argued that Mr Kane’s “centre of main interests” was south of the Border, and not in Northern Ireland. He later reapplied, but had his application turned down by the High Court .


Abuse
In a judgment delivered last month but only published this week, the judge said Revenue had submitted “cogent and persuasive” evidence that Mr Kane had misrepresented his financial affairs.

“In particular, Mr Kane had not disclosed that he had substantial assets and business interests in [the Republic],” the judge said. The judgment also stated that Mr Kane’s bankruptcy application was “an abuse of process”.