Quinn 'spent €327,000 in year'


Three members of the family of bankrupt businessman Seán Quinn were paid sums totalling about €881,000 over a year under employment contracts with Russian companies in the family's international property group, the Commercial Court has heard.

Colette Quinn, a daughter of Mr Quinn, was paid some €340,000 while her brothers in law, Stephen Kelly and Niall McPartland were paid about €260,000 and €281,000 respectively. The money was paid into accounts held by the three with Ocean Bank in Moscow and was withdrawn from ATMS here and via Visa Cards.

Ms Quinn said she has few documents or receipts indicating what happened to some €327,000 of the €340,000 paid to her over a year between 2011 and 2012. Some of the money went for household expenses like groceries and petrol and some for legal fees, she was not in the habit of keeping household receipts, and there was €12,500 left in the account last August, she said.

She withdrew some €16,000 in 20 transactions mainly from ATMs in Belturbet and Cavan town over a period of two hours on June 14th 2012, the court heard.

She said she was concerned about being asked about the purpose of such withdrawals both for legal reasons, as Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (formerly Anglo Irish Bank) had alleged she was in contempt of court orders restraining stripping of assets from the IPG, and for personal security reasons.

Mr Kelly said he was paid some €260,000 from two Russian companies between May 2011 and June 2012 and rejected suggestions it was "extraordinary and unbelieveable" for him to say he has no receipts indicating how he spent that money. Some of it went to household expenses and legal fees for which he had not kept receipts, he said.

Mr McPartland, a solicitor, said he received a salary of some €281,000 from three Russian companies. Ocean Bank had a policy of not issuing bank statements and, while that was "bizarre", there was "nothing sinister" about it.

While he does have receipts relating to how he spent those monies, he did not believe he was required under the terms of court orders to disclose them to IBRC. The orders required him to disclose documents concerning his assets, plus any steps taken by him to put IPG assets beyond the bank's reach and he had done that.

Shane Murphy SC, for IBRC, put to Mr McPartland the documents should be disclosed but Mr McPartland disputed that.

He said he had not kept copies of his employment contracts with the Russian companies or of earlier employment contracts with Quinn Insurance. His employment with the Russian companies was done through Seán Quinn Jnr, Stephen Kelly and Peter Darragh Quinn and he trusted them.

While there was no job description, he was told, when signing the contract in June 15th 2011, he would be paid well, would be doing general work in Russia and "generally get stuck in and help when needed". He did not consider there was anything unusual about the Russian situation and the contracts were made bona fide.

All three witnesses said they are awaiting bank statements from Ocean Bank concerning their accounts.

They were being cross-examined by Mr Murphy in a preliminary application before Mr Justice Peter Kelly to the full action in which the bank alleges various Quinn family members were involved in a scheme to place IPG assets beyond its reach. The full case has been adjourned pending criminal trials of former Anglo Chairman Sean Fitzpatrick and two former senior executives of the bank.

The cross-examination of the Quinns arises from IBRC's claims they have not made full disclosure of their assets, accounts and involvement with IPG companies. They insist they have. The cross-examination resumes next week after which it will be adjourned to allow the sides prepare legal submissions.

Today, Colette Quinn said she was paid the €340,000 under contracts of employment with Russian companies while she remained in Ireland apart from one visit to Moscow to open the Ocean Bank account. She signed the contract without understanding it as it was in Russian and had no documents indicating what work she was expected to do.

When it was suggested that was "entirely implausible", she said: "It is my evidence."

She rejected suggestions various documents and emails showed she played an active rather than a passive role related to IPG companies. She agreed she was a director of about eight Cypriot companies and, with her sisters Ciara and Aoife, had passed resolutions to sell shares in Russian companies.