Nama to receive proceeds of ring sale

National Assets Management Agencyto get the US$205,000 proceeds of sale of an 8.38 solitaire diamond ring sold last week at auction.

National Assets Management Agencyto get the US$205,000 proceeds of sale of an 8.38 solitaire diamond ring sold last week at auction.

Mon, Feb 4, 2013, 00:00

The National Asset Management Agency (Nama) is to get the US$205,000 proceeds of sale of an 8.38 solitaire diamond ring sold last week at auction in Florida and formerly the property of the wife of developer John McCabe, the Commercial Court heard today.

Jim Hamilton, appointed last Thursday as receiver for Nama over the ring and a diamond necklace and bracelet belonging to Mrs Mary McCabe, who Nama is pursuing to recover a €21m judgment over unpaid loans, was given the necklace today.

The receiver is also to be given a fine quality diamond line bracelet set in platinum which Mrs McCabe had given to a Dublin jeweller, John Farrington, of Farrington's in Drury Street, with a view to being sold, Mr Justice Peter Kelly heard.

The bracelet remains in a safe in the jewellers' shop and Mr Farrington had been co-operative and was to hand over both it and the proceeds of sale of the ring on his return next Thursday from the US where he was attending an auction in Miami, the judge was told.

The diamond ring was shipped to the US and sold there on January 29th last, the day before Nama applied for a receiver to be appointed over the jewellery after expressing concern it had not been handed over despite requests.

Mrs McCabe, Rath Stud, Ashbourne, Co Meath, had on January 30th attempted to stop the sale but it had already been completed, the court also heard.

John McCabe, son of Mrs McCabe, said his mother was not in court due to a family bereavement and there was no intention to put the jewellery or sale proceeds out of Nama's reach. His mother was advised the ring would obtain a better price if sold in the US and the idea was to secure the maximum return for Nama and the taxpayer from disposal of the jewellery, he said.

Mr McCabe rejected suggestions of Rossa Fanning, for Nama, of a "scheme" to dispose of the jewellery. When his family became aware of the court order appointing Mr Hamilton as receiever, they had spoken to the receiver and updated him on the situation, he said.

Mr Justice Kelly said Nama would say they had acted "not a moment too soon" as they had written or emailed Mrs McCabe twice in January seeking for the jewellery to be handed over - including a letter insisting on handover by January 18th or legal proceedings would ensue. The receiver's appointment might have been unnecessary if those were responded to in the terms Mr McCabe had outlined, he said.

Mr McCabe said his family were all out of work due to the collapse of the family business and were out seeking work and not constantly accessing emails.

Mr Fanning said the "significant" developments justified Nama applying last week for the appointment of the receiver. It may have been thought Nama's action was harsh and draconian but such views were not borne out, he said.

His side had said they were concerned about a real risk the jewellery would be disposed of and that was "exactly the scheme being engaged in with no notice to Nama", he said.

It may well be a reasonable price was obtained for the ring and it may have been sold to a bona fide purchaser under a contract which could not be undone, he added.

If that was the case, Nama wished to recover the proceeds of sale and asked the court to note the undertaking.

Earlier, Bernard Dunleavy, for Mrs McCabe, said her lawyers had discussed the matter with her after Nama obtained the orders appointing Mr Hamilton and she had indicated she intended to deal directly with Nama and the receiver.

In those circumstances, his side were seeking to come off record for Mrs McCabe, counsel said.

Mr Justice Kelly granted that application and said he would give Mrs McCabe two weeks to consider whether she wished to challenge the receiver's appointment and to address the various matters. He returned the matter to February 18th. In the interim, Mr Hamilton remained as receiver over the bracelet, necklace and sale proceeds of the ring.

Last week, Mr Fanning told the court Nama believed the ring alone was worth more than €150,000, based on the opinion of a jewellery valuer, while Mrs McCabe had valued it, the bracelet and necklace collectively at some €140,000.

Two judgments for sums totalling more than €20m were entered against Mrs McCabe last year and she failed to disclose the jewellery in her first statement of affairs but did so in her second, the court also heard.

Last October, John McCabe was ordered to repay amounts totalling more than €100m to Nama arising mainly from loans to companies in his building group and his personal guarantees of loans. The McCabes group of companies owe Nama more than €235m.

McCabes was behind the so-called 'millionaires' row' development at Abington in Malahide, Co Dublin. John McCabe Snr was also one of 10 customers of Anglo who each bought a 10 per cent stake in the bank in the so-called 'Maple 10' deal of 2008.