A US judge this week denied the request of Gayle Killilea, ex-wife of former property developer Sean Dunne, for a new trial and ordered her to provide sufficient assets to pay what, with interest, has climbed to 19 .4 million euros from the couple’s judgment in 2019. American bankruptcy lawsuit.
US District Judge Jeffrey Meyer has given Ms Killilea until February 23 to hand over to the US bankruptcy trustee as security $12.5million from the sale of Walford, once Ireland’s most expensive home , while she considers appealing. He also ordered him to sell an American home worth an estimated $4.5 million and turn over the proceeds to the trustee, as well as provide him with $5.56 million in cash or bail and $360,000. of another American bankruptcy.
If Ms Killilea misses the deadline, the trustee can seize the assets, Judge Meyer said.
Adding to Ms Killilea’s woes, her longtime attorneys in the case dropped her late last month, alleging she had failed to pay them, according to documents filed in US District Court in Connecticut. It is unclear whether she has hired any new ones or not.
Reached by telephone, Ms. Killilea declined to comment on the judge’s decisions and the decision of her lawyers to withdraw from the case.
Trustee attorney Thomas Curran hailed the judge’s rulings as a major step forward in the case, which has stalled since the June 2019 jury verdict.
“This is great news because it validates to a large extent what we were looking for in this case and that is not just to recover a judgment, but also to provide a path by which we can actually recover the monies in this judgment. “said Mr. Curran. .
He is prepared to sue Ms Killilea’s assets worldwide to pay the judgment, he added. “We will be looking for all assets that we know of.”
Mr Dunne, once one of Ireland’s wealthiest men, moved to the US following the collapse of his property business in the 2008 financial crisis. He later declared bankruptcy. At a trial in 2019, a US jury found that Mr Dunne had fraudulently transferred large chunks of his fortune to Ms Killilea, his then-wife, to protect her from creditors and ordered him to confiscate 18, 1 million euros to the trustee.
The interest increased the compensation, which would be used to pay Mr Dunne’s creditors, to €19.4 million, Judge Meyer said in his ruling this week.
Since the verdict, the case has been stalled in court with on-and-off negotiations that have failed to reach a settlement. Shortly after the trial, it emerged that Ms Killilea and Mr Dunne had divorced.
Judge Meyer denied Mr Dunne’s request for a new trial last summer, prompting him to appeal to the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York, where the case is pending. Now that her request for a new trial has also been denied, Ms Killilea can do the same.
In court papers stepping down as Ms Killilea’s lawyer, Peter Nolin, who led her defense team at the trial, said his firm had told him and his company about the fees that had been unpaid for a year .
“Over the past few months, there has been a significant breakdown in communications between counsel and these defendants on this issue,” Mr. Nolin wrote. “Despite several emails and at least one conference call to resolve the issue over the past three months, the charges remain unpaid.”
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