Guardian: Ireland’s Former Richest Man Faces Jail for Contempt of Court

Bankrupt Sean Quinn found in contempt for putting assets worth hundreds of millions of euros beyond reach of state bank

 and agencies

The Guardian

Sean Quinn turned a rural quarrying operation on his family farm into a global business empire – only to become the subject of the largest ever Irish bankruptcy order four years after becoming the country’s richest man. Photograph: Paul Faith/PA

Sean Quinn, the bankrupt tycoon who was once Ireland‘s richest man, could face jail after being found guilty of contempt of court following a “blatant, dishonest and deceitful” move to block a state bank from seizing property worth hundreds of millions of euros.

Quinn, whose €4bn (£3.2bn) business empire collapsed after a disastrous investment in the now-nationalised Anglo Irish Bank, is being pursued by the bank for debts of almost €3bn and now faces a likely prison term along with his son and nephew, who were also found guilty.

“I find it impossible to accept his evidence that he had no hand in matters after April 2011. His evidence is not credible,” Justice Elizabeth Dunne said. “They have engaged in a complex series of steps designed to put the assets beyond reach … in a blatant, dishonest and deceitful manner.”

The judge will decide on sentencing after hearing arguments from both sides on Friday, but she said it would be difficult to persuade her that there should not be a custodial element to the penalty.

If he is jailed, Quinn, 65, would become the first major player in Ireland’s economic collapse to be imprisoned.

Read the rest of the article here: The Guardian

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