Court hears Alan Hynes ‘most dishonest’ director liquidator has encountered

Myles Kirby seeking maximum directorship disqualification

A €1m property investment given to Tuskar Property Holdings was entirely dissipated within two weeks by Alan Hynes (pictured), the court heard. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

A €1m property investment given to Tuskar Property Holdings was entirely dissipated within two weeks by Alan Hynes (pictured), the court heard. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

 

Liquidator Myles Kirby wants the maximum disqualification from directorships for Tuskar group’s Alan Hynes because he is “the most dishonest director” he ever came across, the High Court heard.

A €1 million property investment given to Tuskar Property Holdings was entirely dissipated within two weeks by Mr Hynes, including €300,000 which was paid for his personal use, the court was also told.

Mr Kirby is liquidator of Hynes Jewellers Wexford Ltd, of Tuskar Property and what he described as a “phoenix entity”, JW Fashions Ltd, which was set up in 2014. The business of Hynes Jewellers was transferred to JW Fashions but it was in fact a misuse of the corporate structure because none of the liabilities of Hynes Jewellers went with the transfer, Mr Kirby said.

He is seeking the disqualifications and other penalties for breaches of company legislation against Mr Hynes and three other personal respondents.

He wants the court to impose the maximum disqualification period from directorships against Mr Hynes because he was the “most dishonest director I have come across and there is almost nothing he will not do to further his aims”.

He also wants disqualification periods in the mid-to-higher range against Alan Hynes’s cousin, Frank Hynes, a director of HJW, who, while not as responsible as Alan, encouraged Alan in his conduct, he said.

He also wanted a similar disqualification against Alan Hynes’s brother-in-law, Cambridge-based Dr Adrian O’Reilly, who took over ownership of Tuskar Property and also owned another respondent in the case, Tuskar Investment Group. Dr O’Reilly failed to supervise the company and was reckless in facilitating Alan acting as a shadow director even though he did not appear to benefit from it, Mr Kirby said.

Fifth respondent

The fifth respondent is Martina Hynes, Frank Hynes’s wife, who co-owned certain assets with her husband and a joint account into which company monies were paid. Mrs Hynes on Thursday told the court, via video link, she wanted to come to some agreement so that “we can move on from all this”.

Mr Justice Michael Quinn said she could give evidence under oath on Friday or make submissions. There has never been any appearance on behalf of Dr O’Reilly, who has however previously denied any wrongdoing.

Alan Hynes and Frank Hynes appeared by remote connection to the court on Wednesday indicating they were prepared to accept any disqualifications and were also seeking a settlement. They did not rejoin on Thursday.

The court was told a €1 million property investment was paid in August 2008 to Tuskar Property by Dublin a law firm, Partners at Law, on behalf of a client who did not wish to be named, for investment in a scheme recommended by Alan Hynes. That client lost the entire investment.

Most of the money was dissipated to pay debts to Zurich Bank, Anglo Irish Bank and AIB, among others.

Some €300,000 went to Mr Hynes’s personal account, and another €6,712 went to his wife, Noreen Dunphy Hynes. She was a director in Tuskar Property with her husband but has since “distanced herself from this mess” and is not the subject of the High Court application, Mr Kirby said.

The €1 million was recorded in Tuskar Property’s accounts as a “transfer from Hynes” and assigned to what was a bogus directors’ loan account as justification for the making of numerous cash withdrawals, Mr Kirby said.

As a result of this false accounting, Mrs Hynes’s director’s account in the financial statements was overstated by €1 million when it should have been recorded as a liability to an investor.

Particularly egregious

Mr Kirby has claimed that the manner in which Tuskar Property operated was particularly egregious in circumstances where the company conducted little or no legitimate trade since it was put into receivership in 2014.

It operated primarily as a vehicle to enrich Alan Hynes and Frank Hynes, he claims.

Mr Kirby, who is also seeking to make the respondents bear personal liability for the debts of the three liquidated companies, said Alan Hynes siphoned off assets from Tuskar Property for the personal benefit of himself and members of his family and to hide assets from creditors.

Between 2015 and 2018, when Tuskar Property has no discernible trade, some €625,000 of company monies were used for his benefit and of members of his family.

There were payments including for Alan Hynes’s personal expenditure of €1,433 on flights, €4,248 on clothing, €2,905 on hotels and €4,494 on food and drinks in restaurants.

Some of these payments illustrated the “absolutely extraordinary” abuse of the corporate structure, Mr Kirby said.

Mr Kirby said Alan Hynes “acts in complete denial” of numerous court orders and put forward absurd and often vexatious claims.

The case continues.