herald

Monday 18 December 2017

Sean and Gayle'had secret Swiss bank account'

Sean and Gayle
Sean and Gayle

NAMA has uncovered details of a secret Swiss bank account controlled by broke developer Sean Dunne and his wife Gayle Killilea, it has alleged.

The Credit Suisse account was not among the 11 declared by Mr Dunne when filing for bankruptcy in the US last year.

The Carlow-born developer's total debts stand at €695m, with €185m owed to Nama.

The agency - through its subsidiary, National Asset Loan Management (NALM) - has objected to the discharge of Mr Dunne's debts, alleging he "knowingly and fraudulently" gave misleading information when filing for bankruptcy.

It now says it has found bank statements indicating the existence of a Swiss account.

Nama obtained the information after subpoenaing Ms Killilea's former immigration lawyer Philip Teplen, according to court documents.

Mr Teplen provided Nama with statements from a Swiss account "apparently maintained jointly by the debtor and his wife".

"The account was not scheduled and no documents concerning the account have been produced to NALM in this case," the documents stated.

They add that Mr Dunne was "perfectly capable" of disclosing financial information "when it suits him, but has chosen not to do so", according to details of the files.

Mr Dunne and his wife lived in Switzerland before moving to Connecticut in 2010.

NALM requested the voluntary disclosure in October last year of Mr Dunne's financial affairs and records relating to properties in Switzerland, Connecticut and New York. It claims only a small number of documents were provided to it.

It is seeking an order forcing Mr Dunne to hand over the information.

A separate legal action involving Mr Dunne last year heard claims he pledged to invest $1m (€745,000) from a Swiss account in a New York builder's business.

NALM objected to the discharge of Mr Dunne's debts last summer, meaning the developer faces a bankruptcy trial.

If he loses, the man once dubbed 'Baron of Ballsbridge' will not be entitled to a fresh start under US bankruptcy laws.

In its filing last year, NALM's lawyers said the bankruptcy code "provides that a debtor shall not receive a discharge if the debtor knowingly and fraudulently, in, or in connection with, the bankruptcy case, made a false oath or account".

assets

The complaint focuses on Mr Dunne's alleged involvement in transactions with his wife that began after Ulster Bank started calling in its loans, NALM say.

"Throughout 2008, after the debtor received the January 10, 2008, Ulster Bank letter, and in some instances after Ulster Bank's August 7, 2008, demand letter, the debtor engaged in a series of transactions transferring assets to his wife Killilea," says the complaint.

Mr Dunne has consistently denied being involved in these transactions.

comurphy@herald.ie

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