Belfast Telegraph

Transfer of $45m debt to Sean Quinn company ‘was sham’

By Alan Erwin

A $45 million (£27.7m) property debt was transferred from one of bankrupt businessman Sean Quinn's companies to put it beyond the reach of a creditor bank, a High Court judge ruled.

Mr Justice McCloskey held that those responsible for the loan assignment over a Ukrainian shopping centre were “indulging in an orchestrated, elaborate and illicit charade”.

He’s now set to declare all disputed transactions null and void and return control to the former Anglo Irish Bank.

His ruling strengthens the renamed Irish Bank Resolution Corporation's overall attempt to recoup more than £2bn it claims to be owed.

Proceedings were issued against the British Virgin Islands-registered Lyndhurst Development Trading in order to seize control of the mall in Kiev.

The bank claimed assets were stripped to prevent it securing money it owed to it. A chain of loan assignments were under scrutiny in the case.

Fermanagh-based firm Demesne Investments, of which Mr Quinn is a former director, had been owed $45m by Univermag, the Ukrainian owners of the shopping centre.

But in April 2011 Demesne transferred its rights to the debt to Innishmore Consultancy, another Northern Ireland company run by Mr Quinn's nephew Peter Quinn.

From there the loan was transferred on to Lyndhurst last October.

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