Bankrupt billionaire Sean Quinn and his family remain in control of several companies within its property empire, the former Anglo Irish Bank has claimed.
Disputing a legal challenge for the former tycoon’s son to be released from Mountjoy prison for a contempt of court, the bailed-out lender maintained Sean Quinn junior was in charge of firms up until the day he was jailed in July.
The Supreme Court was told new evidence recovered from a computer hard drive in the Kutuzoff Tower in Russia revealed the accused was aware of, and played an active role, in companies involved in removing assets beyond the reach of the bank.
Paul Gallagher, senior counsel for the now rebranded IBRC, also said the bank does not accept claims by the Quinn family that 430 million US dollars lost in a “deliberate and complex fraud” after court orders were made last year is gone and cannot be recovered.
“What I say is that we do not accept that they still do not control the companies. They do control them,” said Mr Gallagher.
“We have the extraordinary proposition that submissions made to this court in order to obtain Mr Quinn’s release on the basis they cannot comply with a court order when documents, now before the court, by the administrator of Finansstroy in the last few weeks from computers, where hard drives was damaged, demonstrated they are in control of the very companies they say they lost control of.”
Mr Gallagher claimed the Quinns were still handling rents and huge payments during the contempt hearing this summer, but the bank does not know where the rent has gone and is trying to trace it in legal proceedings in Russia, the Ukraine, Belize and Panama.
“This evidence demonstrated they were in control of the company long after they said they ceased to be in control,” he added.
The new documents - which have not yet been opened in the court - allege Quinn Jnr was get to get 15 million euro (£12 million) if his employment in two companies was terminated and his wife Karen 36 million euro (£29 million).
It is alleged his cousin Peter Darragh Quinn, on the run in Northern Ireland over a similar contempt conviction and sentence, was to get 26 million euro (£21 million) and other relatives were also to receive pay-offs.
The bank maintains the documents were backdated in a bid to cover up an asset stripping scheme.
Mr Gallagher said it was an exceptional case, and went through a complex paper trail of companies being transferred and sold in what he described as involving detailed and complex fraud.
“It was by means that was so serious and so undermining of the rule of law and administration of justice what its without exception and without parallel,” he later said.
The barrister said Quinn Jnr previously admitted to disposing of the company Logistica, which has assets of 51 million euro (£41m) , to another firm for just 500 euro (£401).
“He, personally, he gave that evidence as part of the contempt evidence,” added Mr Gallagher.
Elsewhere he said Quinn Jnr, Quinn Snr and Peter Quinn were all involved in the overall conspiracy as they admitted Peter Quinn acted as agent in implementing a scheme designed to remove all the assets of the international property group (IPG) beyond the reach of the bank.
Quinn Jnr, who is on day release from from Mountjoy’s low security training centre, sat at the back of the courtroom with his wife and brothers-in-law Niall McPartland and Stephen Kelly.
His legal team are arguing it is wrong to imprison him for one allegation of contempt, while his father remained free to recover assets for the lender despite being convicted of a range of more financially significant claims.
Brian O’Moore, senior counsel, also told the five-judge bench it was a practical impossibility for Quinn Jnr to purge his contempt - that he was involved a payment of 500,000 euro (£401,200) by a Ukraine company to an employee - because relations had broken down between the two.
He said secret video footage of a meeting in Kiev in January released by the Mail on Sunday, before it submitted to the court by IBRC, was “vivid evidence” of the fraught relationship with Larissa Puga - general director of Quinn Properties Ukraine (QPU).
“The main purpose is that it shows whatever relations existed between Ms Puga and Sean Quinn junior deteriorated to such an extent that by January this year there were daggers drawn and requiring Ms Puga to repay that payment was impossible,” he added.