Sunday, November 4, 2007
In a statement, issued through his solicitors, Byrne said he ‘‘deplores the unworthy, idle, hurtful and irrelevant speculation about his domestic and personal life’’ in certain media coverage, ‘‘including unfounded assertions (linked to spurious official sources) that he had absconded’’.
Byrne’s statement, however, did not answer the main questions: where is the money and is he in a position to pay it back? As the solicitor returned to court, IIB Bank was informing Mr Justice Frank Clarke that the €9 million the bank had loaned to Byrne seemed to have vanished.
A week previously, IIB had secured an injunction freezing Byrne’s bank accounts in a bid to recover the €9million,which it had forwarded to him a month before.
In an affidavit, the bank said it feared that Byrne would dissipate his assets with a view ‘‘to defrauding’’ the bank.
Last week, however, the bank said the order had been too late to prevent the disappearance of the €9 million. Byrne may have turned up in court, but the whereabouts of the money was still unknown.
It certainly was not where it was supposed to be - in a bank account with National Irish Bank. The court permitted IIB to seek documents from NIB in an effort to track the money, but the trail was cold.
IIB is not the only bank licking its wounds. As the details of Byrne’s financial transactions came to light over the past fortnight, it emerged that eight banks are owed more than €40 million by the solicitor.
The largest creditors to date are EBS Building Society and Irish Nationwide, which are owed €12.5 million and €10.5 million respectively by Byrne.
Anglo Irish Bank was quick out of the blocks and has appointed a receiver over a significant portion of Byrne’s Irish property and business assets.
John McStay and Jim Luby, the two partners of accountancy firm McStay Luby, have been installed by Anglo as joint receivers over elements of Byrne’s Irish property portfolio.
Anglo is owed about €4 million by Byrne, and is taking the move to shore up its assets. At the moment, it remains unclear to which elements within Byrne’s complex financial structure Anglo is claiming entitlement.
According to the IIB affidavit, Byrne has more than 20 properties around the country, while other banks are claiming that the figure is higher.
However, the main problem is that no one is really sure who has actual claim over his assets, as Byrne secured multiple mortgages from different banks on the same properties.
IIB granted the €9 million loan only after Byrne offered 20 properties as security. The majority of these are located across Dublin, with one in Carlow.
More than a dozen of these properties were already mortgaged, however, and IIB has discovered that several properties provided by Byrne as security for its loan had already been mortgaged with four other lenders - Bank of Scotland (Ireland), ICS Building Society, Anglo and Ulster Bank.
A barrister for Bank of Scotland (Ireland) has since indicated to the High Court that it, too, had several mortgages with Byrne.
Bank of Scotland (Ireland) is believed to be owed between €5.2 and €5.6 million, according to informed sources.
Each institution had previously thought its loan was secured, based on its claim over the property asset in question, but it has emerged that many of them had no charge over any assets whatsoever.
Will This Guy do time? I Think Hell will freeze over first
Posted by Southofdub at 2:21 AM