40 houses owned by Irish EuroMillions family listed for forfeiture

US authorities list houses in Detroit owned by Dolores McNamara and her relatives

The McNamaras, including Dolores (above) and five of her six adult children, are thought to have bought  more than 100 homes in poorer parts of Detroit, Michigan. File photograph: Frank Miller

The McNamaras, including Dolores (above) and five of her six adult children, are thought to have bought more than 100 homes in poorer parts of Detroit, Michigan. File photograph: Frank Miller

 

The family of Euromillions winner Dolores McNamara had about 40 houses listed for forfeiture by local authorities in the US city of Detroit, Michigan, for non-payment of property taxes, according to public records.

The McNamaras, including Dolores and five of her six adult children, are thought to have spent about $5 million (€4.7 million) on more than 100 homes in poorer parts of the city between 2012 and 2014.

Ms McNamara, from Limerick, won a €115 million Euromillions lottery jackpot in 2005.

The family is understood to have entered the risky Detroit property market by way of connections made through television personality and financial adviser Eddie Hobbs, who has acted as an adviser to Dolores McNamara.

They appear to have suffered heavy losses on their investment.

The majority of the 40 houses listed for forfeiture to Wayne County treasury authorities in the past year, records show, although a handful were seized over the previous two years.

Under Michigan law, the local authorities can forfeit a building from its owner if property taxes are not paid for three years.

The McNamaras appear to have since paid the taxes on the majority of the houses ahead of a February deadline for action, after which the process would have been accelerated.

In addition to the houses that were listed for forfeiture , a further tranche of about 50 are understood to have been sold to an investor from Florida, in a deal agreed in October.

A house on Prevost Street in Detroit – one of the properties bought by the family in Michigan.
A house on Prevost Street in Detroit – one of the properties bought by the family in Michigan.

While the McNamaras paid an average of about $50,000 for each house, US property records show that a large number were for sale recently at an average of $17,000 each.

 Properties taken from other Detroit property investors who fell into arrears on taxes  are expected to be sold over the coming months at foreclosure auctions, where investors often pick up abandoned homes for as little as $2,000 or $3,000.

Mr Hobbs does not advise clients on property investments, but he did introduce Ms McNamara to his former business partners at Brendan Investments, Hugh O’Neill and Vincent Regan.

Brendan Investments, which Mr Hobbs co-founded although he is no longer a director, has invested heavily in the Detroit market on behalf of its Irish investors. Mr Regan recently told a meeting of Brendan Investments shareholders that they are likely to lose 90 per cent of their cash.

David Sweeney, a Limerick-based solicitor for Ms McNamara, did not respond to a request for comment.

* This article was amended on July 6th, 2017