Developer to meet US agencies about €1.6bn Nama assertion

Graham’s Cerberus claims follow Wallace’s Dáil allegation

Mick Wallace claimed €45m in “fixer fees” were paid during the sale of the northern Irish property loans to New York company Cerberus in early 2014. Photograph: The Irish Times

Mick Wallace claimed €45m in “fixer fees” were paid during the sale of the northern Irish property loans to New York company Cerberus in early 2014. Photograph: The Irish Times

 

Belfast developer Gareth Graham is to meet United States law enforcement agencies on Friday to discuss his claims about State agency Nama’s €1.6 billion sale of its northern Irish property loans to New York company, Cerberus.

News that he had gone to Washington followed fresh allegations in the Dáil by Independent TD Mick Wallace that €45 million in “fixers’ fees” were paid out during the sale of the portfolio to the US company in early 2014.

The sale of the portfolio, dubbed Project Eagle, is the subject of criminal and parliamentary investigations in the North following earlier claims by Mr Wallace that £7 million transferred from Belfast lawyers Tughans to an Isle of Man account was destined for a number of Northern Ireland political figures.

Mr Graham is taking legal action against Cerberus, which purchased loans to some of his property companies as part of the transaction.

FBI

Mr Graham recently told the Northern Ireland Assembly’s Finance and Personnel Committee inquiry that he has telephone recordings that include allegations of inappropriate and illegal conduct by politicians, lawyers and accountants in the north.

Former Nama advisory committee member Frank Cushnahan was a director of Mr Graham’s family bookmaking business. One of the Project Eagle bidders, Pimco, withdrew from the auction in March 2014 after telling Nama it had agreed to pay Mr Cushnahan a £5 million success fee.

Mr Wallace claimed in the Dáil that before it bought the loans Cerberus had gone to some of the big developers involved and offered to sell them back their debts for 50 pence in the pound and “they jumped at it”. But they had to pay a fee, he said.

Commission of investigation

Gerry Adams

Taoiseach Enda Kenny, who is visiting the United States, would not be drawn on Thursday night on whether a commission of investigation should be established.

Nama on Thursday issued a statement insisting it had not been accused of, or involved in, any wrongdoing in respect of the Project Eagle sale.