Officials seize Taylor's files

 

DEPARTMENT of Enterprise and Employment officials removed several boxes of files and documents from the house of missing investment broker Mr Tony Taylor in Ballsbridge yesterday.

They moved in on foot of a warrant granted by the District Court, as the High Court was appointing Mr Paddy McSwiney liquidator to two other Taylor companies, Taylor Integrated Planning Services Ltd (TIPS) and Rolyat Ltd.

Mr McSwiney is already liquidator to Taylor Asset Managers (TAM) and Taylor Investment Group Ltd. TAM investors have lost more than £1.5 million.

Yesterday the High Court heard that TIPS owed Taylor Investment Group (TIG) £76,000, was insolvent and unable to pay its debts.

Rolyat Ltd owed TIG £140,000 and was in a similar position. The court was told that it appeared that both companies were used as a means of dispersing money.

Mr Taylor has not been seen for several weeks and both the liquidator and the Department of Enterprise and Employment's authorised officer, Mr Martin Losgrove, are trying to ascertain exactly how much money has gone missing.

Mr Cosgrove and another Department official spent two hours searching Mr Taylor's house in Anglesea Road, opposite the RDS.

They took several boxes of documents, including a box containing files a suitcase and several videotape's, following the search. They also removed all his post. The two officials were accompanied by gardai from Donnybrook Garda station.

Mr Cosgrove would not comment on the significance of the files and document he removed from the house. Nor would he comment on why the Department was only searching the house now, almost three weeks after Mr Taylor failed to turn up for an appointment with him to discuss complaints which investors had made against him.

It is understood that some of the documentation removed yesterday relates directly to the investigation. Officials hope that what was seized might help further determine how much funds are missing.

A Department of Enterprise and Employment spokesman defended the delay in searching the house. He said the search had been planned for some time and the Department had to take legal advice regarding the powers of its investigating officers.

The Department also had to have regard for Mr Taylor's legal/constitutional rights he added.

The spokesman said "significant" amounts of data had been found and would now be evaluated by the authorised officers.

The liquidator's move to investigate the affairs of another two companies in the Taylor Group, as forecast in yesterday's Irish Times, means that he has widened the investigation to four companies.

Accounts for TIPS were lodged in the Companies Office and subsequently withdrawn on Mr Taylor's instructions, shortly before he left the company. It is understood that the accounts were heavily qualified by the TIPS auditor Mr Niall Byrne on the basis that full information "was not available to allow him to properly judge the company's financial position.

Mr Byrne has said he never audited accounts on behalf of TAM, the company which now appears to be the main trading company.