Belfast Telegraph

Nama to get £130,000 from sale of wife's diamond ring

By Dearbhail McDonald

Nama is to get €150,000 (£130,000) proceeds from the sale of an 8.38 diamond carat solitaire ring at the centre of a bid to help recover €20m (£17m) owed by a developer's wife.

The ring, which belonged to Mary McCabe, wife of John Snr, was sold last week at auction in Florida, the Commercial Court in the Republic heard.

Nama appointed a receiver to reclaim both the ring, a diamond necklace and bracelet belonging to Mrs McCabe, who Nama is pursuing to recover a €20m judgment against unpaid loans.

John McCabe Snr, who ran Mc Cabe Builders from Malahide, is one of 10 Anglo customers who each bought a 10% stake in the bank in the so-called 'Maple 10' deal of 2008.

Last October, John McCabe was ordered to repay Nama amounts totalling more than €100m (£85m) arising mainly from loans to companies in his building group and guarantees. Nama also secured judgment in various sums against Mrs McCabe and the couple's children. The McCabes' firms owe Nama more than €235m (£201m).

Nama said only a sum of €347,340 (£297,000) has been paid towards discharging the judgments obtained against Mrs McCabe.

The court heard the necklace was handed over to the receiver earlier this week and that a diamond bracelet will also be returned within the next week.

Meanwhile, the diamond ring was shipped to the US and sold there on January 29, the day before Nama applied for a receiver to be appointed over to reclaim the jewellery after the agency expressed concern it had not been handed over despite requests.

Mrs McCabe, who is from Co Meath, had attempted to stop the sale but it had already been completed, the court heard.

Mrs McCabe's son, also named John, said his mother was not in court due to a family bereavement and there was no intention to put the jewellery or sale proceeds out of Nama's reach.

His mother was advised the ring would obtain a better price if sold in the US and the idea was to secure the maximum return for Nama and the taxpayer from disposal of the jewellery, he said.

Mr McCabe rejected suggestions from Nama's legal representatives of a "scheme" to dispose of the jewellery.

The agency's counsel also said the "significant" developments justified Nama applying for appointment of the receiver.

It said they were concerned about a real risk the jewellery would be disposed of and that was "exactly the scheme being engaged in with no notice to Nama".

Last week, Mr Fanning, for Nama, told the court Nama believed the ring alone was worth more than €150,000, while Mrs McCabe had valued it, the bracelet and necklace collectively at some €140,000.

McCabe Builders (Dublin) is in liquidation. McCabe's was behind the so-called 'millionaires' row' development at Abington in Malahide.

Belfast Telegraph