Hemp fibre company takes action against former chief executive
Action relates to alleged misappropriation of company funds
The injunction prevents Joseph Gavin from accessing, moving or transferring any monies from the company’s bank accounts. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien
A company that sells health food supplements and hemp fibre based products brought High Court proceedings against its former chief executive who it claims unlawfully appropriated monies belonging to the company.
At the High Court on Monday Natural Oil and Fibres Ltd, trading as Celtic Wind Crops secured a temporary injunction against Joseph Gavin, whose employment with the company was terminated late last month.
The Co Louth based company, represented in court by Frank Callinan SC, Owen Keany BL instructed by Sherwin O’Riordan solicitors, said Mr Gavin’s employment was ended due to ongoing difficulties his client had in obtaining Mr Gavin’s co-operation about certain financial matters concerning the company.
Since the decision was taken to terminate his employment the company claims that matters have escalated.
It is claimed Mr Gavin transferred money to an unknown account from an account the company holds with a UK based e-commerce company called Skrill Ltd that deals with online payments and credit transfers.
It is alleged that Mr Gavin was asked by the company to return the money but has failed to do so.
The company fears that the defendants may dissipate funds already transferred by him, destroy records of those transfers, and take steps to put the funds beyond the reach of the company.
These actions, it is claimed, have put the company’s cash flow at risk.
The company also claims that since Mr Gavin’s termination it has encountered significant difficulties in accounting for significant quantities of stock.
It is also alleged Mr Gavin continues to hold himself out as the company’s chief executive, and there were also difficulties in accessing many of the company’s electronic systems, which were set up by Mr Gavin.
As a result of these alleged actions the company sought and obtained a temporary injunction from Mr Justice David Barniville on Monday.
The injunction, which was granted on an ex-parte basis where only one side was represented in court, prevents Mr Gavin from accessing, moving or transferring any monies from the company’s bank accounts.
The injunction also restrains Mr Gavin from dissipating any monies already transferred by him from the company’s bank accounts, removing or destroying any documents that belong to the company.
He is further prevented from holding himself out as being in the employment of the company or claiming that he remains as the company’s chief executive.
The judge, who said that sufficient evidence had been put before the court to allow it to grant the temporary injunction sought, adjourned the matter to a date later this month.
Celtic Wind Crops was set up in 2012, and employs 25 people, sells and distributes hemp fibre products such as hemp CBD oil and natural health food products to retailers in Ireland and overseas.