The liquidator of part of the Dolphin Trust’s controversial Irish operation has taken legal action against individuals and companies linked to the collapsed Ponzi scheme, including the estate of a former executive who left more than €6m in 2020.
The insolvency administrator demands exemplary damages.
The papers were filed with the High Court on Thursday and investors in the scheme were notified in a letter from insolvency practitioner Myles Kirby.
Two prominent financial services industry professionals, Eanna McCloskey and Brian Flynn, directors of Naas-based Wealth Options Trustees Ltd (WOTL), the administrator of Dolphin’s Irish investment plan, were among nine parties prosecuted in a subpoena issued Thursday by Solicitors were called to the High Court on behalf of the liquidator Myles Kirby of Kirby Healy Chartered Accountants.
Mr Kirby is the liquidator of MUT 103 Ltd, one of two so-called special purpose vehicles set up by WOTL to manage the more than €100m in pensions and other savings raised from more than 1,000 Irish investors before Dolphin went bust went.
The subpoena also named Lesley Dunne and Laura Dunne, joint agents in the estate of the late WOTL director Paul Dunne, who left more than €6.2 million in his will when he died in October 2020. There is no suggestion Lesley and Laura Dunne had any connection with Dolphin Trust.
A second Wealth Options affiliate, Wealth Options Capital Limited, which had raised funds for the Dolphin program, was also named in the proceedings.
A spokesman for both wealth options firms said: “As you will understand, there can be no comment on a live legal case. Wealth Options Trustees Ltd (“WOTL”), Wealth Options Capital Ltd (“WOCL”) and the Directors will vigorously defend any allegations made against them.”
Mr Kirby also named people associated with a Cork company – RE Administration Ltd – which is now in liquidation but was previously a central hub for both Irish and international operations of German Property Group, like that Dolphin program is now called.
The RE Administration, formerly known as the Dolphin International Group, played a central role in advancing the broader international Dolphin program, which totaled $1.5 billion.
Two directors of that firm, Cormac Smith and Marc Reilly, were named by Mr. Kirby in the subpoena.
Internal RE administration documents, released by the Sunday Independent last year, showed both men had been receiving hefty salaries, using expensive company cars and taking out a number of director loans in the months leading up to the firm’s voluntary liquidation in October 2019.
Former Dolphin IG Chief Operating Officer Lisa Marie Keane was also named by Kirby in his plenary subpoena.
In an update Friday morning to 790 MUT 103 Ltd investors and creditors, Mr Kirby said he was seeking “damages for breach of contract, negligence, unjust enrichment and breach of duty, including breach of statutory duty”.
Mr Kirby sought further damages “to include aggravated and/or exemplary damages – for negligent misrepresentation,” he said in his update.
Mr Kirby noted that “not all of the various substantive reliefs are applicable to each of the defendants”.
“I have already served the proceedings on some of the defendants and I hope to have served them in the coming days,” he said.
In the investor update, Mr Kirby said his lawyers sent letters before action to several parties in January and that none of the recipients had admitted liability.
Mr Kirby told investors the next step in the process is for the defendants to file an appearance or direct attorneys to file an appearance on their behalf. Once that is done, Mr Kirby will file a complaint with the court detailing the claim, he said.
“If a party fails to appear, I can apply to the High Court for a no-appearance order,” he said.
“This is the first step in a process that I expect will take many months or more before the matter can go to trial. I will endeavor to move the matter forward as quickly as possible in order to secure repayment for creditors,” he said.
https://www.independent.ie/business/irish/dolphin-trust-liquidator-starts-proceedings-against-financiers-41601707.html Dolphin Trust insolvency administrator initiates proceedings against financiers