Quinn family living expenses must be paid from frozen accounts, court rules
High Court refuses application for expenses to be taken from personal accounts instead
Colette (left) and Brenda Quinn, daughters of Sean Quinn. IBRC appointed a receiver to take possession and control of all assets inside or outside the jurisdiction, including, but not limited to, the shareholdings of Ciara Quinn, Colette Quinn, Brenda Quinn, Aoife Quinn, Stephen Kelly (Aoife’s husband) and Niall McPartland (Ciara’s husband).
Living expenses for members of businessman Sean Quinn’s family must continue to be paid from accounts frozen four years ago rather than from their personal accounts, the High Court has ruled.
Mr Justice Brian McGovern refused an application from a receiver appointed over their assets aimed at having the money come from their personal accounts first before any call is made on the frozen accounts.
His refusal arose in circumstances where the Quinns will shortly ask the court to discharge the receiver and allow salaries they are receiving as part of their employments be excluded from the frozen accounts, he said.
He granted the receiver an order requiring the Quinns provide updated statements of assets, liabilities, and monthly income and any expenditure in excess of €750.
The receiver had wanted a 2012 court order varied based on his claims there were ample funds in the personal accounts to fund the expenses and, if there was any shortfall, they could then apply for it to be met from the frozen accounts.
Certain members of the family are now working for a company, SMC Products, run by two of their cousins, while another member, Ciara Quinn, works part-time as an on-call agency nurse, the receiver claimed. Mr Quinn senior was previously a director of that same company, it was claimed.
The Quinns argued the receiver’s application to stop them getting further expenses from the frozen accounts was an attempt to punish them when the only purpose of freezing orders is to prevent the dissipation of assets pending trial.
IBRC appointed receiver
IBRC appointed the receiver to take possession and control of all assets inside or outside the jurisdiction, including, but not limited to, the shareholdings of Ciara Quinn, Colette Quinn, Brenda Quinn, Aoife Quinn, Stephen Kelly (Aoife’s husband) and Niall McPartland (Ciara’s husband).
The order was later extended requiring the receiver be provided with information, but not control over, shareholdings held by Sean Quinn junior’s wife Karen Woods, including shares held with Jeffries and Co Stockbrokers with an estimated value of €100,000.
The orders were obtained in the long-running proceedings by IBRC alleging certain Quinn family members and others were involved in a conspiracy to strip some €500m assets from Quinn companies to put them beyond the reach of IBRC, owed €455m in loans given by the former Anglo Irish Bank.
The IBRC action was initiated in 2011 but, as a result of various criminal proceedings involving former Anglo personnel, is unlikely to he heard until 2018. The family’s separate action also remains parked for the same reason.
The receiver sought to vary the orders after Sean Quinn junior notified the receiver last November he received a €2,347 salary from SMC Products, whose sole shareholder is Seamus McMahon, a nephew of Sean Quinn snr. The other Quinns and their spouses, excluding Ciara, were also employed by SMC.
Mr Justice McGovern ruled the living expenses should continue to be paid from the frozen accounts into which the SMC salaries are paid anyway.
He also refused an application, if Karen Woods seeks to liquidate her shareholding with Jeffries, the money must be paid into the frozen accounts. The requirement that Ms Woods furnish information about these shares “seems sufficient for the moment”, he said.