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

Declared in Marbella six exdirectivos a real estate scam after complaint

Note this is translated to English from Spanish.  The Original can be seen on the SUR Spanish Paper Website

Reported in Sur.es 25.04.12 – 15:18 By MONICA PEREZ | MARBELLA

Fifty foreign makers accuse keep MacAnthony of € 500,000 for furniture not delivered

Darragh Macanthony leaves the courthouse in Marbella this morning. / Josele-Release

The well known ex-director of a real estate company, Darragh Macanthony, has returned today to Marbella to declare before court number 4 following accusations for fraud and misappropriation of funds made by 50 foreign citizens. These mainly British and Irish citizens ratified their accusations a month ago in the same courthouse. They claim that they bought furniture from the company in question for properties in different parts of the world; Turkey, Bulgaria, Cape Verde, Italy, France and Morocco where this company operated.
Other directors of the company have been called to appear alongside Macanthony: Dominic Pickering, Michael Liggan, Sarah O’Callaghan, Nicola Shaw and Fernando Arespacochaga Alcala del Olmo.
Macanthony was the first to declare. He arrived just after ten and left at midday when he declined to give a statement.
The ex-directors are accused of keeping around five or six hundred thousand euros. Most of the transactions were carried out in the headquarters which Macanthony had in Marbella – the very same place the ex-mayor Jesus Gil y Gil used as a Finance Club.
This newspaper understands that those called today have been asked to give further evidence as the evidence given today has been deemed insufficient.
Their accusers claim that those called today have cleaned out the company leaving it with no assets and that they have moved it to a *ghost office” in Madrid where a 90 year old man, about whom nothing is known, has been put in charge.
Darragh Macanthony is currently owner of a football club in the English First Division, Peterborough United.

Darragh MacAnthony in court over MRI claims

BY ANDREW PENMAN ON APRIL 25, 2012 11:00 PM

Holiday property mogul Darragh MacAnthony appeared in a Spanish court yesterday to answer charges that he never delivered furniture packs worth £400,000 to 51 customers.

The 36-year-old Irish multi-millionaire and chairman of Peterborough United was summonsed by the Marbella criminal court after the customers filed a complaint against him and his company, MacAnthony Realty International.

Lawyer Antonio Flores said the company had acted “in a disgraceful manner”, adding: “They never filed for insolvency in Spain. They simply disappeared.”

Records show that the former holiday home giant moved its registered premises to a ghost office in Madrid where it was placed under the management of a non-trading Peruvian company run by a 90-year-old man.

MacAnthony denies the accusations and has blamed the credit crunch, which forced several of MRI’s furniture suppliers to fold, and has called the legal action as a “ridiculous suit”.

The Spanish judge will decide whether MacAnthony and the five other defendants should face the charges of “misappropriation of funds and theft by swindle”.

Original Report

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