Gayle Killilea asked to move extra assets to US to cover $18m jury award
Court in Sean Dunne’s bankruptcy case told of couple’s previous attempts to hide wealth
Gayle Killilea: trustee is also seeking attachment of her US properties and garnishment of the $17,500 monthly rent she collects from a $3m home in Connecticut. Photograph: Douglas Healey
The trustee in Irish developer Sean Dunne’s US bankruptcy is asking the court to order his wife Gayle Killilea to move additional assets into the US to guarantee payment of the $18.1 million (€16.2 million) jury award in the case. As further security, the trustee is also seeking attachment of Ms Killilea’s US properties and companies and garnishment of the $17,500 monthly rent she collects from a $3 million home in Greenwich, Connecticut.
In court filings, the trustee’s attorneys cited what they said were the couple’s previous attempts to hide their wealth, expressing concern that they “will dissipate assets before the Trustee can ever recover on the verdict and ultimate judgment in this case”.
In a response filed on Friday, lawyers for Mr Dunne and Ms Killilea argued the plaintiff is already “over-secured”. They pointed to an Irish court injunction requiring Ms Killilea to retain at least €50 million in assets and restrictions on property and cash imposed by courts in Ireland, South Africa and elsewhere as various legal proceedings play out.
“There is no risk of dissipation of assets given the orders and preliminary relief currently in place,” their filing reads.
Peter Nolin, Ms Killilea’s lawyer, said that his client is prepared set aside €13.6 million from the sale of Walford, once Ireland’s most expensive home, now in escrow to secure the award. He noted the jury rejected the trustee’s claims that his client’s US assets were fraudulently transferred but said he is willing to discuss putting those up as security as well.
The trustee’s lawyer, Thomas Curran, declined comment on Monday.
The trustee filed the request in June shortly after a jury in New Haven, Connecticut found that Mr Dunne had fraudulently transferred millions of euros in assets, including Walford, to Ms Killilea to shield them from creditors. US District Judge Jeffrey Meyer, who presided over the trial, put the request on hold while a federal magistrate judge attempted to broker a settlement.
The trustee renewed the request last week after those talks failed.
Mr Dunne and Ms Killilea’s lawyers are asking Judge Meyer to rule on the request, while the trustee wants a different federal magistrate from the mediator to make the decision.
Since the verdict, the trustee has asked Judge Meyer to find the transfers unjustly enriched Ms Killilea and add another €25.2 million to the award. The money would be used to pay off Mr Dunne’s creditors, who are owed more than €800 million, according to court papers.
* Article amended on July 7th, 2019.