Sean Dunne secures freezing orders against former wife and eldest son

ireland
Sean Dunne Secures Freezing Orders Against Former Wife And Eldest Son
Sean Dunne has secured a High Court freezing order preventing his former wife Gayle Killilea and one of his sons from dissipating assets of a trust
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Aodhan O'Faolain

Bankrupt businessman Sean Dunne has secured a High Court freezing order preventing his former wife Gayle Killilea and one of his sons from dissipating assets of a trust set up for the benefit of the former couple's children.

In proceedings that came before the High Court on Friday Mr Dunne claims that his son John Dunne, his son from his first marriage, and Ms Killilea intend to use assets of the Bloem Trust, “to settle litigation claims against them” rather than “repay the trust”.

The court heard the BloemTtrust holds assets of €20 million, that were generated from UK property investments.

The Virgin Islands-based trust was set up in 2010 in favour of Mr Dunne and Ms Killilea's children. In 2013 Sean Dunne was adjudicated a bankrupt both in Ireland and in US, which he contests.

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Mr Dunne's action has been brought on behalf of four of his minor children against John Dunne, a settler and non-beneficiary of the trust, Ms Killilea, and Cypriot-registered Yesreb Holdings Limited.

Mr Sean Dunnes alleges that Yesreb, which acquired and subsequently sold a Dublin property known as Walford, on Shrewsbury Road, Ballsbridge Dublin 4, is a holding company controlled by his son John.

Bankruptcy

Walford was bought for €58 million by Mr Dunne in 2005 and then placed in trust for Ms Killilea. The property had been the subject of High Court proceedings brought by the official in charge of Mr Dunne's Irish bankruptcy, which were resolved last year.

Sean Dunne, who resides in Ascot, Surrey, in Southern England, claims in a sworn statement that Yesreb borrowed some €12 million from Bloem in 2015 and is the trust's largest creditor.

He claims Yesreb has failed to repay the loan to Bloem and is now in default. The trust, he claims, is now owed some €20 million by Yesreb. He also claims that Yesreb currently holds assets of €12.8 million.

Mr Dunne claims that Ms Killilea and his son John intend to use money he claims is owed to Bloem to settle proceedings brought against them in the United States.

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Those actions, it is alleged, arise out of issues concerning Mr Sean Dunne's bankruptcy.

Mr Dunne, represented by solicitor Ms Grainne White, claims that neither he nor Ms Killilea are beneficiaries of the trust, and are not entitled to use the trust's funds to settle their debts.

Sean Dunne claims he has taken the latest set of proceedings in order to protect the interest of his and Ms Killilea's four children.

Ex-parte basis

The matter came before Mr Justice Michael Twomey on Friday, who said that he was satisfied, on an ex-parte basis, to grant the injunction.

The Mareva-style injunction granted by the court prevents the defendants from dissipating any of the Bloem Trust's assets, including any money loaned by the trust to Yesreb.

The order also prevents the defendants from restructuring the Bloem Trust or using any of the trust's assets to settle with their creditors.

The matter was adjourned to a date in early October, when the new legal term commences.

Mr Dunne wants this action heard at the same time as other proceedings involving the parties concerning a trust created for the benefit of his children.

Last May the court made orders preventing Mr Dunne, an Isle of Man trust called Traviata Ltd, and Bessilton Holdings Ltd from selling or dissipating the proceeds of sale of two valuable properties located near the K Club resort.

Traviata is an Isle of Man registered company, fully owned by the SD Trust. Mr Sean Dunne is the settler, while, Bessilton, is the alleged registered and legal owner of the two properties, but is not the beneficial owner.

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That action has been brought by John Dunne, Sean's Dunne's minor children, who are suing through Ms Killilea and Amrabko unlimited Company, a firm which Ms Killilea is a director.

Beneficiaries

They claim that the properties were being sold for Mr Sean Dunne's benefit, and not the beneficiaries of the trust. That claim is denied.

Traviata contests the Irish court's jurisdiction to hear the action, while Mr Dunne wants the freezing orders against him in that case set aside.

Bessilton claims the dispute is between the other parties, and says it will comply with all orders made by the court.

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