Imprisoned fundraising-platform boss intends to oppose continuation of freezing orders, court told

By Ann O'Loughlin

The imprisoned boss of a fundraising platform business at the centre of an investigation into the alleged misappropriation of €3.8m in charity donations intends to contest High Court orders freezing his assets.

Ms Justice Caroline Costello was informed today that Peter Conlon, MD of Dublin-based donation platform Pembroke Dynamic Internet Services - currently detained in a Swiss prison - intends to oppose the continuation of the injunction freezing his assets.

The injunction freezing Mr Conlon's assets including his bank accounts below a value of €3.8m, was granted earlier this year following an application to the court by the liquidator appointed to the company, Mr Myles Kirby, in January.

Mr Conlon (63), with an address at St Mary’s Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin, was detained at Zurich airport shortly before Christmas.

Mr Kirby, who was appointed to wind up the company over a €400,000 debt owed to Revenue, sought the orders after he commenced an investigation into Pembroke Dynamic.

As part of his probe, Mr Kirby discovered various charities have not received some €3.8m donated to them via the platform.

Mr Kirby claims Mr Conlon is "guilty of very serious misconduct" as company funds were used for personal expenditure.

About 700 national and international-based charities have been contacted as part of the liquidator's investigation.

Pembroke, which previously traded as Ammado Internet Services, was an online donation platform through which people could give money to various charities, with the company taking 5%.

Since the freezing orders were obtained, the case has been adjourned with the temporary injunction remaining in place.

Today, Rossa Fanning SC, for the liquidator, said his client was seeking to fix a date for the hearing of an application to have the injunction remain in place until the case has been decided.

Counsel said Mr Conlon has been formally served with the documentation in the case at the Swiss prison where he is currently incarcerated.

As counsel was making his submissions, Ms Justice Costello was made aware of a letter emailed to the court on behalf of Mr Conlon.

The Judge said that Mr Conlon was indicating in the letter that he intended to oppose the application to continue the freezing orders and that he had retained an Irish solicitor to represent him.

Mr Fanning said that his client was unaware of the communication from Mr Conlon until it was read by the Judge.

In light of the email's contents, counsel, who said that the fact Mr Conlon remains in a Swiss jail presents its own difficulties, asked that the case be adjourned for several weeks.

The Judge agreed and listed the case for mention to a date in November.

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