[The judgment in the case is now available here]
“The behaviour of the respondents outlined in evidence before me is as far as removed from the concept of honour and respectability as it is possible to be.” Ms Justice Elizabeth Dunne concluding the judgment handed down today in the Anglo v Quinn contempt case.
The continuing Quinn family saga took a dramatic turn this morning when Dublin’s High Court ruled that members of the family were in contempt of orders made by the court last year, orders aimed at preserving assets that IBRC wants to use to offset €2.8bn of loans given by the bank. The Quinns – Sean (senior, the formerly richest man in Ireland), Sean (junior) and Sean senior’s nephew, Peter Darragh (otherwise, Peter Darragh Quinn) – are each held to have breached orders made by the court in 2011.
The judgment handed down this morning by Ms Justice Elizabeth Dunne is here. It follows a long line of judgments in Dublin and Belfast. And Kiev, in the Ukraine where IBRC has so far failed to get its hands on a €50m shopping centre. The BBC undertook a special investigation – which was broadcast last month - into the global machinations involving the Quinn property empire. The BBC’s Jim Fitzpatrick pursued a trail of asset transfers which took him from Derrylin to Stockholm to Kiev to Moscow to Belize City – below is a screengrab from the programme with Jim pointing, in an anonymous post office hallway in Belize City, to the registered office of a company laying claim to a €100m Moscow office block. You will find two of the previous court judgments and commentary here and here.
The judgment this morning is damning of the three Quinns. There are findings that documents were fabricated and back-dated, that the Quinns were not truthful in giving evidence and that, contrary to the orders obtained by IBRC last year, they deliberately sought to put assets beyond the reach of IBRC. It is believed it will be some days before the Judge decides on the penalties to apply – IBRC sought “committal or attachment”, meaning prison or financial penalties. Sean Quinn Senior is a bankrupt.
IBRC’s CEO Mike Aynsley said this morning in response to the judgment “Bringing this contempt motion was a valid and necessary step for IBRC to take. The proven planned, covert and illicit actions taken by the Quinns and connected parties have resulted in millions of Euros being lost or put at risk. IBRC will continue to seek to remedy this and recover as much of the remaining assets as possible on behalf of the Irish taxpayer.”
Larissa Puga (above, left) employment contract judged to have been altered so as to provide for a USD 500,000 termination payment.