Cafe owner to sue Clerys directors over ‘shortfall’
Former owner of LS Catering Lorraine Sweeney says her company is owed €46,000
Solicitors for LS Catering wrote in October to solicitors for wound-up Clerys trading arm OCS Operations, accusing it of “misappropriating” Lorraine Sweeney’s firm’s cash
Lorraine Sweeney, the former Clerys cafe concession owner, has indicated she intends to personally sue Gordon Brothers executives Malcolm MacAulay and Rafael Klotz over the shortfall in cash owed to her company when Clerys was put into liquidation in June.
The men were directors of Clerys when it was sold by Gordon Brothers in the hours before its trading arm was liquidated by its new owners.
Solicitors for LS Catering wrote in October to solicitors for wound-up Clerys trading arm OCS Operations, accusing it of “misappropriating” Ms Sweeney’s firm’s cash. LS says it is owed €46,000.
The letter alleged Mr MacAulay, as a director of OCS, is “responsible” for the alleged misappropriation. The letter made no mention of Mr Klotz, although other court documents indicate LS Catering also holds him responsible for the alleged misappropriation.
The letter further alleges that a Gordon Brothers “representative” instructed staff at the Clerys cafe to lodge close to €2,000 in takings into the OCS safe in the afternoon of June 12th, after it had been placed into liquidation but before staff and concessionaires knew it was to be shut.
William Fry solicitors, which acted for OCS when it was owned by Gordon Brothers, replied last month to deny that Mr MacAulay knew that Clerys was going to be shut down when they sold it to Deirdre Foley’s Natrium.“[Mr MacAulay] had no prior knowledge of the events that transpired,” William Fry wrote.
Mr MacAulay also “expressly denied” in the letter that any Gordon Brothers representative told the cafe to lodge cash into the safe after the liquidation had been initiated. He also denied that there was any “misappropriation” or that he had any responsibility for it.
The letters and details of the proposed proceedings by LS Catering against OCS, Mr MacAulay and Mr Klotz, were outlined in affidavits lodged in the High Court in recent weeks. The court last week granted Ms Sweeney leave to sue OCS and its former directors over the cash it is seeking.
Ms Sweeney says the cafe’s takings were supposed to be held in the OCS account on trust for LS Catering. As OCS apparently lodged its own cash into the same account, she alleges the trust money was mixed up with the cash of the liquidated company.