Peter Conlon jailed for €4m embezzlement of charities’ cash

Seen & heard: IAG on the hunt for Flybe, Sheen Falls sold and losses at Actavo

Irish businessman Peter Conlon has been jailed for embezzlement in Switzerland. Photograph: iStock

Irish businessman Peter Conlon has been jailed for embezzlement in Switzerland. Photograph: iStock

 

Irish businessman Peter Conlon has been convicted of embezzlement in Switzerland, the Sunday Times reports.

Mr Conlon, the founder of Ammado, pleaded guilty to using almost €4 million that was intended for charities to fund his donations technology company.

The court heard the donations hadn’t been ring-fenced and that there was a considerable shortfall in cash owed to charities.

Conlon’s Ammado allowed people donate to charities in more than 100 countries. The mismanagement of funds came to light when Revenue appointed a liquidator to the company’s main Irish arm over a €400,000 debt.

A Swiss court has jailed the form er EY entrepreneur of the year award winner for three years, with two of them suspended.

IAG looks at Flybe

Aer-Lingus owner IAG is in pole position to buy regional carrier Flybe, according to the Sunday Telegraph. Its regional network is said to provide a useful link into the company’s sprawling global hub at Heathrow Airport in London.

While the newspaper reports that IAG is on the hunt for the regional budget carrier, it said IAG boss Willie Walsh will likely lock horns with Richard Branson considering Virgin Atlantic has confirmed that it is weighing a move for the troubled carrier.

Sheen Falls sale

Two Singaporean businessmen have bought the luxury Sheen Falls hotel in Kenmare, Co Kerry, according to the Sunday Independent. Staff were informed that the hotel has been acquired by Dr Stanley Quek and his business partner Peng Loh.

Sheen Falls was developed in the 1980s and was subsequently bought by Palladian Hotels in 2013 for €5 million.

Actavo losses

The engineering services business owned by Denis O’Brien, Actavo, lost almost €24 million last year after suffering heavy losses on UK contracts, the Sunday Times reports.

The company formerly known as Siteserv sustained losses on a contract with the engineering group Babcock International to overhaul ships at British ports. Although profitability turned last year, the company’s revenues rose 2 per cent to €465.5 million. However, the newspaper says that more than €132 million of that came from loss-making areas of the business that have since been discontinued.

Facebook documents

The UK parliament has used rare powers to seize internal Facebook documents in an attempt to hold the social media company to account in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, the Observer reports.

A haul of documents is said to contain major revelations about Facebook’s decisions on data and privacy controls and include emails between senior executive and correspondence with Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg.

Devlin on the market

Paddy McKillen jnr and his business partner have put their Ranelagh hotel, the Devlin, on the market for between €20 million and €22 million, according to the Sunday Business Post.

The operators of the hospitality group Press Up will enter a long-term sale and leaseback agreement with the buyer of the hotel. The new hotel has 40-bedrooms, a rooftop restaurant, an underground cinema and a cocktail bar.

Revenue disputes

The Business Post also reports that the Revenue Commissioners are involved in more than a dozen major disputes with large taxpayers, with over €700 million at stake.

The newspaper says that figures from the Tax Appeals Commission show one individual is appealing a tax bill of €19 million while three of the 11 corporation tax cases relate to assessments in excess of €100 million.