A Connecticut bankruptcy judge has ordered Sean Dunne, once one of Ireland’s biggest property developers, to open his books to a U.S. bankruptcy trustee saying he can’t hide behind Irish family law to avoid answering questions about his finances.
Judge Alan H.W. Shiff of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Bridgeport, Conn., in a ruling Thursday, said Mr. Dunne must turn over his financial records to Richard Coan, the bankruptcy trustee overseeing the developer’s Chapter 7 case, and to testify under oath to his Irish creditors.
Mr. Dunne, an Irish citizen who lives in Greenwich, filed for bankruptcy earlier this year listing debts of $942.2 million.
But the developer had balked at answering certain questions concerning assets allegedly transferred to his wife at a July creditors’ meeting, claiming Ireland’s so-called in-camera rules barred such disclosures.
Judge Shiff, however, rejected that argument.
“[Mr. Dunne] cannot rely on alleged Irish law to evade his statutory duties under the Bankruptcy Code or to thwart the Trustee’s efforts to comply with his statutorily imposed duties,” the judge said. You can read his entire ruling here.
Mr. Coan had also asked the judge to hold Mr. Dunne in contempt, but Judge Shiff deferred ruling on the contempt motion.