Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 23 September 2014

Sean FitzPatrick's wife may receive €3m of disgraced banker’s assets

The wife of disgraced Irish banker Sean FitzPatrick is set to be worth more than €3 million (£2.6m) after the carve-up of his assets.

Catriona FitzPatrick could be entitled to half of her husband's €3.4m (£2.9m) pension pot.

Creditors will also be unable to touch her interest in at least five properties co-owned with her husband— potentially worth as much as €2m (£1.7m).

The revelation came as a Dublin court yesterday appointed an official to divide up the former Anglo Irish Bank chairman's assets.

Chris Lehane, the official assignee in bankruptcy, can also trawl through Mr FitzPatrick's financial transactions for the five years prior to him being declared bankrupt last July.

It is understood that Mr Lehane may seek to recover Mrs FitzPatrick's €1.7m (£1.46m) interest in her husband's pension, if it can be demonstrated that she was never entitled to it in the first place.

A beaming Mr FitzPatrick (61), who was in court for the two-minute hearing, had no comment to make afterwards.

There were extraordinary scenes following the brief court appearance when the disgraced banker was given a warm welcome by lawyers in the Barrister's Tea Room in the Four Courts.

A statement of affairs filed with the High Court yesterday said Mr FitzPatrick had liabilities of almost €150m (£128m) but assets of just under €50m (£43m).

His main creditor is state-owned Anglo, which says it is owed about €110m (£94m).

It was the second statement of affairs submitted by Mr FitzPatrick in the past two months.

He said yesterday that his only sources of general income came from an Irish Life annuity, worth €55,295 a year (£47,334), and income of €51,900 (£44,445) on three rental properties.

However, Mr FitzPatrick claimed that when costs were taken into account his income was now just €188 (£161) a month.

The statement of affairs also revealed that Mr FitzPatrick has €2.1m (£1.8m) in bank and building society accounts, almost €900,000 (£770,400) more than was listed as being in the accounts last July.

Documents revealed Mr FitzPatrick was facing five separate bills totalling €3.5m (£3m) in relation to unpaid income and capital gains tax.

At yesterday's hearing, Ms Justice Elizabeth Dunne directed that the bankruptcy process would continue under Mr Lehane who would discharge Mr FitzPatrick's assets for the benefit of creditors.

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