Minister gets warrant to search Taylor home

 

A WARRANT was granted yesterday to the Minister of State for Enterprise and Employment, Mr Pat Rabbitte, to search the home of Mr Tony Taylor by District Court Judge Gerard Haughton.

Immediately after the brief court hearing, the Minister's authorised officer, Mr Martini Cosgrove, went with a team of helpers to Mr Taylor's former home at 19 Anglesea Road.

Mr Cosgrove was appointed by Mr Rabbitte to carry out the initial investigation into Taylor Asset Managers Ltd and its associated companies before the disappearance of Mr Taylor and his wife. Mr Taylor was chairman and chief executive of the Taylor group.

Yesterday Mr John O'Donnell, counsel for the liquidator of two Taylor companies, Mr Patrick McSwiney, told Mr Justice Budd in the High Court that the whereabouts of Mr Taylor his, wife were still unknown.

Mr McSwiney is the official liquidator of Taylor Asset Managers Ltd and Taylor Investment Group Ltd (TIG). He was yesterday appointed provisional liquidator of two other Taylor companies, Taylor Integrated Planning Services Ltd (TIPS) and Rolyat Ltd, a name which Mr O'Donnell pointed out was Taylor spelled backwards.

Mr David Barniville, counsel for the Ministers for Finance and for Enterprise and Employment, told the court his clients were supporting the winding up of TIPS and Rolyat and the appointment of Mr McSwiney as provisional liquidator.

Mr O'Donnell said that, from investigations by Mr McSwiney, it appeared that both companies had been used for the purposes of dispersing money.

"It appears that money was siphoned out of one company into another under the orchestration of Mr Taylor and it appears these companies were just two others within the Taylor Group which were used as vehicles for dispersing money," Mr O'Donnell said.

Mr O'Donnell said that TIPS owed Taylor Investment Group Ltd £76,000, was insolvent and unable to pay its debts. Rolyat Ltd owed TIG £140,000 and was in a similar position. As a creditor of both companies, Mr McSwiney, as liquidator of TIG, was presenting petitions to have both companies wound up.

Mr Justice Budd granted both petitions and appointed Mr McSwiney as provisional liquidator to both companies. He authorised him to take such steps as may be necessary to preserve the assets of the companies and investor funds both within the State and outside it.

Mr Justice Budd also ordered that a statement of affairs be filed by the directors of both companies within 21 days. As Rolyat Ltd had been struck off the Register of Companies for failure to make returns, he ordered that it be restored to the Register.

Mr O'Donnell said both companies held a group of accounts in the Bank of Ireland in Westland Row, Dublin, and Taylor Investment Planning Services had groups of accounts also in the AIB in Baggot Street and in the National Irish Bank in South Mall, Cork.

He said their shareholders, Mr and Mrs Taylor, had absconded and could not be located. It would be very difficult for Mr McSwiney to obtain further information regarding these bank accounts if the companies concerned were not wound up.

Mr O'Donnell said TIPS carried on an insurance broking business within the Taylor Group and was still a trading company with employees handling pension schemes and life insurances. He said the liquidator believed that Rolyat's bank accounts may have been used for channelling funds within and outside the Taylor group of companies.