Court quiz for soccer boss in fraud probe

Reported in the Herald.ie by Gerard Couzens

Thursday April 26 2012

Darragh MacAnthony

FOOTBALL boss Darragh MacAnthony faced a court grilling over claims his company swindled holiday home owners out of hundreds of thousands of euros.

The Dublin-born entrepreneur was quizzed for nearly two hours by a Spanish judge about his property empire and a furniture sales sideline.

Mr MacAnthony, once estimated to be worth €180m, was chaffeur-driven to the court in upmarket Marbella to answer allegations of “misappropriation of funds and theft by swindle.”

Dozens of ex-customers sparked the probe after complaining nearly €500,000 worth of furniture, ordered more than five years ago from his company for apartments in Morocco, Bulgaria and Cape Verde, was never delivered.

The Peterborough United chairman declined to comment as he left after the hearing behind closed doors and was driven away to the luxury hotel where he is staying in a €2,650-a-night private villa.

Four other business associates linked to his property firm MacAnthony Realty International were also questioned.

Investigating judge Beatriz Gomez-Escolar is probing allegations MacAnthony and his business associates misappropriated around €550,000 from 56 customers and stripped MRI of its assets before a de facto closing as part of an elaborate fraud involving the use of an OAP frontman.

The investigation into MRI’s business practices launched in January after a group of 51 buyers ratified an earlier claim that €492,000 of furniture they ordered for holiday homes was never delivered.

Five more people have since come forward to claim they were victims as well.

MRI has consistently denied any allegations of wrongdoing.

Mr MacAnthony, who has not been charged with any crime, has said in the past: “There are no foundations behind these allegations. I certainly didn’t do anything wrong and neither did anyone with MRI when I was there.”

hnews@herald.ie

– Gerard Couzens

Bar association fines lawyer for misconduct

Members of the MRISG will not be surprised by this article as Emily Lomoniati was MacAnthony’s preferred lawyer in Cyprus.  To preserve it for the future the whole article has been copied here for your information. Complete with comments lest Emily Lemoniati has the article and content removed from the web.
Cyprus Mail If you don’t want this kept here e-mail admin.


Cyprus Mail

Published on March 11, 2012  See The Cyprus Mail for the Original Story


THE Cyprus Bar Association (CBA) has this week fined Paphos lawyer Emily Lemoniati €1,000 for misconduct after she failed to register her clients’ 2005 property sales agreement, then waited three years to amend, sign and file a new contract without her clients’ instructions.
Lemoniati’s clients, Scottish expats Andrew and Patricia McClay, complained to police in 2009 but it has taken the CBA’s disciplinary board until now to reach a verdict on the two charges of “showing conduct contrary to the advocates’ profession”.
The first, according to board president and Attorney-general Petros Clerides, was for failing to register the sale agreement for the McClays’ home, dated 25 October 2005.
The second was issued because, on or around 21 October 2008, Lemoniati used a power of attorney given by the McClays without their instruction, to issue a sales agreement of which they were not aware.
Board chairman Doros Ioannides said: “It is clear that the accused lawyer breached her clients’ instructions and breached the code of professional ethics and therefore we find her guilty on the said charge.”

He also said: “It is with great difficulty that we do not impose to Ms Lemoniati the highest sentence, that of the deprivation of her licence to perform her profession and we only impose a monetary fine that of €1,000.”
It is unclear why Lemoniati delayed the registration of the original document.
Andrew McClay, who has since returned home to Scotland, said: “The guilty verdict is out there but the sentence is disappointing. I took her to court because she’d broken the law and forged the property contract… that fine is not really very much is it?”
However, a defiant Lemoniati fiercely denied any wrongdoing, adding that that the McClays suffered no loss and that she was acting in her clients’ interests all along by using her power of attorney.
She told the Sunday Mail: “I simply don’t care (about the judgement) because I didn’t steal money or do anything unethical. I registered the contract with a slight delay…of a few months… only to safeguard my client.”
Her vehement denial also seems to have alarmed the board.
Ioannides wrote in the board’s meeting minutes: “It is with great surprise that we have noticed that what Ms Lemoniati stated, does not constitute mitigation or any other apology towards the Disciplinary Board but rather stigmatises the persons who made the complaint and which in any case, the Disciplinary Board found her guilty.”
He added: “What the Disciplinary Board expected from Ms Lemoniati, was at least to apologise to the complainants.”
Instead, Lemoniati said she would now appeal the board’s “unfair” decision and sue McClay for defamation, after he allegedly commented about her on a website based in the north.
McClay denied ever commenting on such a website about Lemoniati.
It is not the intention of Mr McClay to get justice.” Lemoniati said: “He just wanted to make a problem for me… He made comments on a north Cyprus website mocking me because I could not come (to a disciplinary board hearing) when I was pregnant… where is the respect?
Her name now appears on several websites, such as: www.ripoffreport.com, whatswrongwithcyprus.eucy.info, bewarepaschalicyprus.com/ and several chat forums, where details of her previous conviction, imprisonment and subsequent presidential pardon for driving offences can be found.
Moreover, she claimed to have more than 15 people ready to testify against McClay: “This is ridiculous, this person is insane. Maybe he has a personal issue with me. He does not care about his wife… he has a mania about Emily Lemoniati, every morning he wakes up and his intention is Emily Lemoniati.”
I will chase him until the day he dies… no matter what. I’m going to make his life a nightmare.
Asked if he would continue to pursue Lemoniati, McClay said: “I don’t think so. It seems like a complete waste of time and money and there’s nothing to be gained. It’s just more grief and hassle that we don’t need.”
“The guilty verdict is out there” he added.

Read more

Martinez-Echevarria to Take on MRI?

Published February 10th, 2012 on the Diarmaid Condon Blog


Martinez-Encheverria LogoI got an email last week from a lady called Maria Reyna purporting to represent Martinez-Echevarria (ME). It would appear to be genuine as the domain name on the email was that of the Spanish law firm. The email, which has no subject, read as follows:

“Dear Condon,

My name is María Reyna and I’m the local associate to the Spanish law firm Martinez-Echevarria, Lopez & Ferrero in the UK.

 

To read the whole article go to the Diarmaid Condon Blog where you will find input from the MRISG too.

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