'No documents' to show Quinn spend

Tue, Jan 29, 2013, 00:00

Ciara Quinn, a daughter of bankrupt businessman Seán Quinn, has said she withdrew almost €340,000 from her Russian bank account via cash withdrawals from ATMs here in the space of a year with most of that going to pay legal fees.

She has no documents concerning those withdrawals or payments made from July 2011, she told the Commercial Court today.

Ms Quinn was also asked about an "extraordinary" series of withdrawals totalling €5,000 from her Ocean Bank account in Moscow, made via ATMs in Blanchardstown, Dublin, in less than 20 minutes on May 25th 2012.

Shane Murphy SC, for Irish Bank Resolution Corporation, asked about the purpose of withdrawals of €500 each at 16.08pm, 16.10pm and 16,11pm; withdrawals of €600 each at 16.18pm and 16.19pm; €1,500 at 16.24pm and €800 at 16.27pm.

Hugh Hartnett SC, for the Quinns, objected saying such questions strayed into issues to be addressed in the full hearing of the legal action by IBRC, formerly Anglo Irish Bank, against various Quinn family members and others alleging stripping of assets from the Quinns international property group (IPG).

Ms Quinn also said she was not willing to answer questions as to why she did certain things as she had three small children and was concerned about the possibility of contempt claims. She was aware that a finding of contempt could lead to jail.

Mr Murphy today cross-examined Ciara and Brenda Quinn about claims they and other Quinn family members have not fully disclosed all information relating to their assets, accounts and involvement with companies in the IPG. Colette Quinn's cross-examination began late today and continues tomorrow.

The Quinns insist they have disclosed all relevant documents available to them. The bank sought cross-examination before the full hearing of its "conspiracy" action.

Mr Justice Peter Kelly today granted an application by Paul Anthony McDermott, for the DPP, to stay the full hearing of that action insofar as it touches on issues to be addressed in forthcoming criminal proceedings against former Anglo chairman Sean Fitzpatrick and two former senior executives of the bank. Those issues included alleges breaches of Section 60 of the Companies Act making it unlawful for a financial institution to loan money to buy its shares.

Various preliminary matters in the conspiracy case, including cross-examination of the Quinns, may continue in the interim.

Today, Ciara Quinn said she has no invoices from lawyers and no documents showing how she spent some €340,000 paid into her Ocean bank account in Moscow under her employment contract with Russian companies between July 2011 and August 2012. She had no copies of that contract and there was nothing unusual or sinister about that as she had never, in her work as a nurse or with Quinn Insurance, had copies of contracts.

She agreed an affidavit sworn by her in August 2012 referred to funds of €116,011 held on account with her former lawyers Eversheds; funds of €163,437 held by Senat Legal, based in Dubai, and also noted other funds were being transferred from Senat to Eversheds to pay court fees. She believed those figures were provided by Eversheds. That affidavit  was sworn by her when she had a week old baby, she said. It was "a very difficult time".

She disclosed all documents in her possession when swearing that affidavit and later disclosed other documents which she had not initially believed required to to be disclosed, including text messages related to her Ocean Bank account

Eversheds have documents belonging to her, she never dealt with that firm concerning its bills and gave money to family members to give to Eversheds. She did pay tax in Ireland and Russia but the amount of tax paid was for her accountants.

She believed she has a 20 per cent interest in several companies but had no documents related to those. One of those companies, Cranre Property Services Management Ireland, was paying mobile phone bills totalling up to €3,000 monthly for herself and five others, public relations bills of some €5,250 bi-monthly to James Morrissey and bills related to an office premises used by the family in Ballycoolin, Dublin.

She rejected suggestions she had had more than a "passive" involvement with IPG companies. She agreed she had sent documents via DHL to Ukraine and Russia but said those documents were provided to her by other family members and she did not know what they involved. She said "zero money" from IPG assets went into bank accounts of her three children.

As a company director, she had voted, with her sisters Aoife and Colette, to sell shares in Russian IPG companies at a meeting in April 2011. They had no documents when doing so.

"Thousands upon thousands" of documents were disclosed by her family who had decided it was not necessary to give IBRC multiple copies of the same documents. She travelled to Moscow with other members of her family in July 2011 to open accounts with Ocean bank and that trip was paid for by a Russian IPG company.

Brenda Quinn said she travelled in Australia for a period but returned in February 2012 after which she became more involved helping her family in relation to their legal action against the bank.

She was not aware why a copy of the front page of her passport was sent by her brother to Russia and had no documents related to why, in February 2012, he was seeking a year long Russian visa for her "as soon as possible". She was given a document sometime in March 2012 informing her she had been granted a double entry visa to Russia.

Colette Quinn said she had disclosed all relevant documents and had no documents related to her legal or beneficial ownership of some 20 per cent of various companies. She owned many Quinn companies over the years and never knew their ownership structure either. She had no documents concerning payments to her from Russian companies.