Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 22 October 2014

Quinn family 'still controls firms'

Lawyers for Sean Quinn Junior are challenging his three-month jail term in Mountjoy

Bankrupt billionaire Sean Quinn and his family remain in control of several companies within its multi-million euro international property empire, the former Anglo Irish Bank has claimed.

Disputing a legal challenge for the former tycoon's son to be released from Mountjoy prison for a contempt of court, the bailed-out lender maintained Sean Quinn junior was in charge of firms up until the day he was jailed in July.

The Supreme Court was told new evidence recovered from a computer hard drive in the Kutuzoff Tower in Russia revealed the accused was aware of, and played an active role, in companies involved in removing assets beyond the reach of the bank.

Paul Gallagher, senior counsel for the now rebranded IBRC, also said the bank does not accept claims by the Quinn family that 430 million US dollars lost in a "deliberate and complex fraud" after court orders were made last year is gone and cannot be recovered.

"What I say is that we do not accept that they still do not control the companies. They do control them," said Mr Gallagher.

"We have the extraordinary proposition that submissions made to this court in order to obtain Mr Quinn's release on the basis they cannot comply with a court order when documents, now before the court, by the administrator of Finansstroy in the last few weeks from computers, where hard drives was damaged, demonstrated they are in control of the very companies they say they lost control of."

Mr Gallagher claimed the Quinns were still handling rents and huge payments during the contempt hearing this summer, but the bank does not know where the rent has gone and is trying to trace it in legal proceedings in Russia, the Ukraine, Belize and Panama.

"This evidence demonstrated they were in control of the company long after they said they ceased to be in control," he added.

The new documents - which have not yet been opened in the court - allege Quinn Jnr was get to get 15 million euro if his employment in two companies was terminated and his wife Karen 36 million euro.

It is alleged his cousin Peter Darragh Quinn, on the run in Northern Ireland over a similar contempt conviction and sentence, was to get 26 million euro and other relatives were also to receive pay-offs. The bank maintains the documents were backdated in a bid to cover up an asset stripping scheme.

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