A firm linked to U2 drummer Larry Mullen and comedian John Bishop is suing an Irish tech entrepreneur

A software company whose investors include U2 drummer Larry Mullen and well-known British stand-up comedian and actor John Bishop is suing an Irish entrepreneur for alleged fraud for over a million euros.

ears Technology Ltd, a company set up to develop and market an app for people with hearing problems, claims to have been scammed by Brendan Morrissey and Malta-registered BAK Holdings Limited.

In a case listed by the Commercial Court, the law firm claims it has paid BAK more than $1 million.

Allegations of fraud, misrepresentation, breach of contract and negligence are denied by Mr Morrissey of Kells, Co. Kilkenny, a serial tech investor and former guitarist for rock band My Little Funhouse.

The case was added to the court’s list at the request of Eoghan Cole BL for Hears.

In an affidavit, Mr Bishop, a director at Hears, explained how the board removed Mr Morrissey’s wife Karen Morrissey as company secretary and canceled a banking mandate earlier this year after making a series of payments to BAK.

The comedian outlined how his hearing-impaired son Joe came up with the idea for an app in 2019 that would allow people to take a hearing test on their smartphone, making it easier to buy custom-made hearing aids.

He said a mutual friend introduced them to Mr Morrissey, who presented himself as a successful serial entrepreneur the following year.

Mr Bishop said: “He showed great interest in the idea of ​​our app and in bringing it to fruition. He claimed that he had many relevant contacts worldwide in the various technology areas in which he was involved.”

Mr. Bishop made a cash investment of €558,440 in Hears while Mr. Morrissey invested the same amount via a credit for software development services to be provided by his company, BAK Holdings. Mr. Mullen invested €550,000.

The comedian claimed a breakdown in relationship with Mr Morrissey occurred towards the end of last year after seeking and turning down details about delays in the project and costs.

He also began requesting that the software code be made available to him so that he could have it independently evaluated and appraised. However, he said Mr Morrissey refused to provide it, citing concerns that the company’s confidential information would be compromised. Mr Bishop said he now believes this was “just a smoke screen”.

He said he discovered last February that a payment of €558,400, the exact value of his own investment, had been made to BAK two years earlier without his knowledge or consent or other directors. Mr Bishop claimed Mr Morrissey and his wife Karen were the only people with access to the company’s bank account at the time.

The comedian said it’s unclear what BAK did to qualify for that compensation.

Mr Bishop claimed he was told by Mr Morrissey that a third party had breached its contracts with Hears, meaning the firm would have to create its own code from scratch, at a cost of €350,000. This amount was paid to BAK in February 2021.

Hears hired an executive director in April last year to prepare for the app’s launch.

However, no launch took place and Mr Bishop claimed that Mr Morrissey provided little if any information on the progress.

Further invoices were submitted by BAK in September last year, resulting in payments of €85,000 and €70,000 to the company. Last February, the board decided that no further payments should be made to BAK without its approval.

However, Mr Bishop claimed a further €99,500 was paid to BAK between 31 March and 6 April. “These payments were approved by the Morrisseys in favor of BAK and no one else,” Mr Bishop said.

Soon after, the board fired Ms. Morrissey as company secretary.

Although the software code was eventually produced, Mr Bishop said in his affidavit that the likely total cost of what was provided was £200,000 (€232,000).

Rossa Fanning SC, representing BAK and Mr Morrissey, told the court the action was “completely misguided”.

In an affidavit, Mr Morrissey said Mr Bishop’s allegations were “extraordinary and utterly without substance”.

He claimed the comedian “illegally took control of the company” and is now using it “as a vehicle to sue me and attack my integrity and professional reputation.”

Mr. Morrissey said he has built or invested in a portfolio of more than 20 technology companies with combined 2021 sales of $211 million.

https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/courts/firm-linked-to-u2-drummer-larry-mullen-and-comic-john-bishop-sues-irish-tech-entrepreneur-41967381.html A firm linked to U2 drummer Larry Mullen and comedian John Bishop is suing an Irish tech entrepreneur

Fry Electronics Team

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