US trustee seeks Sean Dunne marital documents

Tuesday 10 June 2014 16.51
Sean Dunne and his wife Gayle Killilea Dunne moved to the US
Sean Dunne and his wife Gayle Killilea Dunne moved to the US

The court-appointed bankruptcy trustee examining the financial affairs of property developer Sean Dunne has asked a court in the US for permission to access Irish family law documents.

The lawyer representing Richard Coan, the US court official overseeing Mr Dunne’s bankruptcy, has asked the court in Connecticut for permission to apply to the Irish High Court for documents relating to matters deemed to be 'in-camera' under Irish law.

In legal documents filed with the court over the weekend, Mr Coan said that he needed access to certain documents to ascertain the level of alleged asset transfers made to Mr Dunne's "wife (or ex-wife)" Gayle Killilea Dunne.

Mr Coan said he knew from investigations already carried out, that since 2004 Mr Dunne transferred over €100m worth of assets and property to Ms Killilea Dunne for "no or nominal consideration".

The documents said that Mr Dunne has already admitted to transferring "the entire contents of his home, his interest in various real properties in Ireland, South Africa and Switzerland and even lease payments due to him under a lease of his residence in Dublin".

Mr Coan claims that he needs access to legal documents held in Ireland to ascertain the circumstances of these transfers.

Mr Coan is seeking a third 'motion to compel' from the bankruptcy to force Mr Dunne to provide information to him, and is accusing Mr Dunne of failing to cooperate as required under the US Bankruptcy Code.

At the court in Connecticut yesterday, attended by Mr Dunne, Judge Alan Shiff told Mr Dunne's lawyer that if he was relying on Irish law to protect certain documents, then "you've got to identify the Irish law so they can read it and see how it applies".

Mr Dunne filed for bankruptcy in Connecticut in March 2013 owing $942m.

He was made bankrupt in Ireland last summer following a petition by Ulster Bank, to which he owed €164m.

The case is due to come before the court in Connecticut again on 9 July.