Belfast Telegraph

From Russia with lovely lolly: millions family stood to gain through payments

On Tuesday the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation, formerly Anglo Irish Bank, told Dublin's Supreme Court that new papers would show that the family of bankrupt businessman Sean Quinn stood to receive more than €250m (£200m) in severance fees from Russian companies within their international property group (IPG).

The claims were made ahead of Sean Quinn jnr's challenge to his three-month jail term for contempt of court, which was imposed in July.

He was jailed over what the High Court called an "outrageous" and "flagrant" contempt of court orders forbidding the Quinns putting property assets valued at up to €500m (£400m) beyond the reach of IBRC.

In his appeal, he contends he was not in contempt of those orders and, even if he was in contempt, it was disproportionate to jail him.

The IBRC said it would also claim that evidence gleaned from a damaged computer in Russia shows that Sean Quinn jnr's wife, Karen Woods (right), was to receive payments of more than €36m (£28m) and an annual salary of about €560,000 (£448,000) if her employment with the family's Russian companies was terminated.

Ms Woods was engaged to be married when the contracts were drawn up.

It is understood that the monies were not received by members of the Quinn family or Ms Woods, despite the terms and conditions in the contracts, which stipulated:

  • €36m (£28m) termination payments for each of Mr Quinn's daughters, Aoife, Ciara and Colette Quinn
  • €26m (£20.8m) termination payments and an annual salary of €221,947 (£177,000) for Peter Darragh Quinn, nephew of Sean Quinn Snr and former head of the IPG
  • €15m (£12m) termination pay ments for Sean Quinn jnr
  • €36m (£28m) and an annual salary of about €560,000 (£448,000) for Karen Woods if her employment was terminated.

Niall McPartland, the solicitor husband of Ciara Quinn, had contracts for similar sums to that enjoyed by Ms Woods, the IBRC claimed.

The contracts were signed weeks before the High Court issued orders, on June 27, 2011, banning any interference by the Quinns with their €500m (£400m) IPG.

The IBRC said that the new material shows Sean Quinn jnr was aware of the "deliberate backdating" to June 15, 2011, of employment contracts generated on July 27, 2011, in favour of members of the Quinn family, so it would appear they were created before the order of June 27, 2011. The bank also claimed that a video recording of a meeting in Kiev on July 21, 2012 showed Sean Quinn jnr was involved in an asset- stripping scheme in the Ukraine. The court was told it was "wrong in principle" to jail Sean Quinn jnr "indefinitely" to put pressure on his father to reverse measures to put multi-million assets beyond the reach of the former Anglo Irish Bank.

The appeal is being heard by a five-judge Supreme Court, presided over by the Chief Justice, Ms Justice Susan Denham.