Car dealer being pursued for €5m by Revenue warned over behaviour
Judge tells John Alex Kane he is at ‘grave risk’ of being jailed a third time for contempt
John Alex Kane was warned by Mr Justice Peter Kelly that this was his ‘last chance’.
A car dealer being pursued by the Revenue for 10 years in a bid to recover a €4.97m judgment has been warned he is at “grave risk” of being jailed a third time for contempt.
The president of the High Court, Mr Justice Peter Kelly, issued the warning after a Revenue receiver said he believes John Alex Kane, of Granard, Co Longford, had last month orchestrated moving his neighbours’ cattle onto his lands, on which Tricolour flags were also placed, to frustrate a planned sale by the receiver.
Patrick and Clare Nannery, who own the cattle and have some 200 acres adjoining the Kane lands, had told the receiver they had nothing to do with moving the cattle, were very annoyed about it.
Mr Nannery had said the Kanes were “pups” and “a bad breed” and had informed the receiver he had removed the cattle from the Kane lands back onto his own lands.
Mr Kane denied any involvement in moving the cattle.
The judge said “cattle don’t have a mind of their own and cannot climb over a fence” and it did not appear to be in the neighbours interest to move their own cattle onto the Kane lands.
Mr Kane also complained the Revenue were seeking to move against a former pub property, the Bent Elbow at Stradone, Co Cavan, which he said belongs to his wife.
The Revenue believes that property was purchased with undeclared monies of Mr Kane’s with a view to convert it into a fully serviced car workshop and it is seeking to appoint Mr Kirby as receiver over that property.
Gary McCarthy SC, for the Revenue, got orders on Wednesday to advance the Revenue application concerning that property and also got orders directing the Jaguar firm to provide tracking information concerning a 2017 Range Rover allegedly purchased by a relative of Mr Kane.
The firm had indicated it would neither object nor consent to such an order. Mr McCarty also said, arising from “worrying developments” concerning the frustration of the receiver’s efforts to sell lands, the Revenue was reluctantly seeking to have Mr Kane jailed a third time for contempt.
After Mr Kane sought time to respond to the receiver’s sworn statements, the judge agreed to provide that but warned him: “This is your last chance and there won’t be any more.”
The judge said he did not know how many times Mr Kane had been before the court and told him his behaviour “has been characterised by chancing your arm and chicanery of one sort or another”.
It was time to get a “bit of sense” and not to continue with this “game” because, in any showdown with Revenue, it has to win because it cannot tolerate a situation of people thumbing their noses at them over tax debts, the judge said.
Mr Kane was last November offered an “excellent” deal by the Revenue which gave him a chance to end all this “for a lot less than the judgment”, the judge said.
Under that deal, Mr Kane was, inter alia, to pay sums totalling €450,000 by next November, to file tax returns from January 2017 to date, to allow for various parcels of land to be sold and to account for all vehicles sold from a premises at Rathcronin, Co Longford. Some 47 vehicles were to be accounted for.
If he did so, the Revenue was to discharge a judgment mortgage it had registered against a substantial property in Co Longford in the name of Lucy Pinfold.
It had also indicated it would not object to Mr Kane trading and not take further steps to enforce judgment while maintaining it could still execute against the 2017 Range Rover and the former Bent Elbow property.
On Wednesday, the judge heard Mr Kane has filed tax returns and is up to date with payments of the €450,000. A final sum of €120,000 is to be paid in November.
The Revenue in July 2009 obtained judgments for €4.97m against Mr Kane and €5.27m against his brother, Pauraig Kane, over unpaid taxes in connection with the operation of their SUV business in Granard.
It also got orders freezing the brothers’ accounts below some €10m and directing them to fully disclose their assets.