Tomorrow at 9.30am EST, early afternoon here, in the Connecticut Superior Court, NAMA is set to challenge Sean Dunne about a series of transactions and their relevance to the €185m judgment the Agency obtained against the former “Baron of Ballsbridge” or “The Dunner” earlier this year. You can read the NAMA submissions here but it should be said that NAMA has been trying to force Sean’s wife – former journalist and presently, businesswoman and property developer, Gayle Dunne (nee Killilea) – to hand over documents. Gayle is not a NAMA borrower and has recently claimed not to have received any correspondence directly from NAMA. There has also been some recent press exposure favourable to the Dunnes with claims of NAMA leaking of confidential financial information – NAMA hasn’t commented, and of course NAMA wasn’t the only body in possession of Sean Dunne’s financial information.
At issue in the case is a series of three US property transactions plus one more in Switzerland where NAMA seems to be claiming shenanigans. In respect of two of the US transactions, I am still scratching my head at how successful the Dunnes were in developing two residential properties in an alien environment.
There is a background blogpost on the hearing here. The Irish Daily Mail has been the leading Irish press outlet to publicise the case. RTE might drag Richard Downes away from the US presidential campaign for the hearing, but I doubt it. Surely INM can afford a presence – after all there is money, property, some cha-cha-cha with the glamorous Gayle. Who knows, maybe someone from the NWL audience might be attending. There will be updates here.
(Graphic above produced by Japlandic.com, contact here)
UPDATE: 23rd October, 2012 (1). It seems the case is ongoing right now and that NAMA is trying to get a postponement until January 2013, and the Dunnes are objecting, which would make sense given the gravity of the charges and the apparent urgency exhibited in the July 2012 hearing. Also, we now have the transcript of the July 2012 hearing and it is pretty apparent why the judge refused NAMA’s application for an immediate freezing order – “there has to be something besides “upon information and belief”" said Judge Mintz before rejecting NAMA’s application for an immediate freezing order. Seems like NAMA is on the back foot with this one.
UPDATE: 23rd October, 2012 (2). Thanks to John Gallaher, here is the listing of the actions to date in this matter.
UPDATE: 23rd October 2012 (3). The comprehensive list of interactions from the start of October 2012 between NAMA and the Dunnes with the court, and the results leading up to today is here – there has been a lot going on with this case, pending its full hearing!
UPDATE: 24th October 2012. In the end it is the Irish Times and Niamh Sweeney to which we turn today for the overall outcome from yesterday’s hearing. NAMA has been granted extra time – which has not been specified – to prepare its case but NAMA did seem to score a hit with the concession yesterday by Gayle Dunne that documents relating to a sale of a property through Sotheby’s would be made available to NAMA – previously she had resisted the handing over of these documents. NAMA was represented by Philip D Russell and Sean Dunne was represented by Peter Nolin. The Dunnes are claiming NAMA’s actions amount to no more than a “fishing expedition” and that Gayle “has her own money” which was used to fund several US property dealings and developments. The case continues.