Car dealer warned he faces jail if he interferes with receiver
Receiver alleges ‘sinister’ threats in efforts to recover money under €4.95m tax judgment
John Alex Kane received a two-month suspended sentence in late July for civil contempt of undertakings not to interfere with receiver Myles Kirby’s efforts to sell land. Photograph: Chris Maddaloni/Collins
A car dealer has been warned by the president of the High Court he may be jailed for alleged further breach of undertakings not to interfere with efforts of a Revenue-appointed receiver to recover under a €4.95 million tax judgment obtained 10 years ago.
John Alex Kane received a two-month suspended sentence in late July for civil contempt of undertakings not to interfere with receiver Myles Kirby’s efforts to sell land.
Mr Kirby now wants the suspension lifted over what his counsel Gary McCarthy SC described on Monday as a “very serious escalation” of interference with the receiver’s work, including alleged “sinister” threats and intimidation.
Mr Kane, representing himself, denied any involvement and said he was “totally innocent”. His brother Seamus Kane, represented by his solicitor Bríd Mimnagh, also denied contempt or interference with the receiver or his agents.
Applications by Mr Kirby for the lifting of the suspension of John Alex Kane’s two-month sentence, and for a committal order against Seamus Kane, were adjourned by Mr Justice Peter Kelly for three weeks to allow them time to deal with the matter.
The judge told John Alex Kane he was strongly advising him to get legal representation. Mr Kane said that would involve money. He also said he has an appeal pending before the Supreme Court arising from the €4.95 million tax judgment order of 2009.
Earlier, Mr McCarthy, instructed by Ivor Fitzpatrick solicitors, told the judge the receiver was not pursuing a contempt application against Jerome Kane, a brother of John Alex Kane, after Jerome Kane gave sworn evidence he was not involved in making threatening phone calls.
The court heard a farmer in Co Mayo who had bought cattle from the receiver had reported receiving threatening phone calls from a “Jerome Kane”. Mr McCarthy said the receiver believes Jerome Kane was not the author of those phone calls and, if Jerome Kane was prepared to put that on oath, Mr Kirby would accept that.
In sworn evidence to the court, Jerome Kane said he knew nothing about the calls, had not made them and did not know the farmer. On that basis, Mr Justice Kelly struck out the application concerning Jerome Kane and awarded costs of that to Mr Kane against the receiver.
The judge on July 24th last imposed the two months suspended sentence on John Alex Kane over the latter’s contempt of undertakings not to interfere with the receiver’s efforts to sell lands but warned Mr Kane he would go to jail if there was any further interference by him with the work of Mr Kirby.
Mr Justice Kelly said there was “prima facie evidence” from a security agent of seeing John Alex Kane departing lands at Willsbrook, Co Longford, on March 28th last and that entry amounted to contempt of Mr Kane’s undertakings.
The judge previously said the “torturous and tiresome” litigation concerning Mr Kane, dating back to 2009, was supposed to have been brought to an end with undertakings given as part of an agreement between Mr Kane and the Revenue of November 2018.
That agreement provided Mr Kirby will not pursue possession of Mr Kane’s family home if Mr Kane pays €450,000 to the Revenue. Mr Kane has made various payments as agreed and is to make a final payment of €120,000 this month.