A car dealer who was jailed for interfering with the work of a receiver is the beneficial owner of a pub his wife claimed to own, a judge has found.
The High Court has dismissed claims by Lucy Pinfold, the wife of John Alex Kane, that she used her own funds to buy the property from Co Cavan.
The court must now decide whether the premises can be seized and sold as part of efforts to satisfy a €4.9million judgment the tax commissioners obtained against Mr Kane for unpaid car sales tax .
In a written ruling, Judge Anthony Barr said Ms Pinfold’s account of how she had amassed €25,000 used to part-fund the purchase was ‘not credible’ and that ‘very large deposits’ on her cash account were probably the proceeds of her husband’s business. Activities.
This is the second time the High Court has dismissed Ms Pinfold’s claims that she owned properties that were actually owned by her husband.
Mr Kane (47), of Cartron, Granard, Co Longford, was jailed in January for two months for contempt after breaching orders prohibiting him from obstructing the work of receiver Myles Kirby, of Kirby Healy Chartered Accountants.
The receiver alleged that Mr Kane was behind a long campaign of harassment, intimidation, criminal damage and feed poisoning aimed at interfering with the sale of 14 receivership properties, including most have now been sold.
The claims were denied by Mr Kane, who ran the engine sales business Kanes of Granard.
Revenues are chasing him for his €4.9 million debt, made up of more than €3 million in unpaid VAT and almost €1.9 million in interest, since 2009.
Last month the court heard an application by Mr Kirby, seeking to be appointed receiver of The Bent Elbow, a former pub in Stradone, Co Cavan, alleging it was owned by Mr Kane.
Ms Pinfold was the registered owner of the property and claimed to have used €44,000 of her own funds to buy it in November 2015.
Planning permission was obtained the following year to convert the premises from a pub into a garage, and conversion work was carried out.
In an affidavit, tax inspector John Magee said there was no evidence Ms Pinfold ever had enough money to buy the pub.
He said Revenue believes the deal was funded by undisclosed car sales andon a balance of probabilities, the purchase was part of an effort by Mr. Kane to re-establish his car-selling business.
Ms Pinfold claimed in an affidavit that she raised the sale price from income as an office administrator and director of car sales, rental income, child benefit payments and the sale of a tractor.
She alleged that Mr. Magee’s conclusions were based on speculation. She also claimed that her family had been subjected to an aggressive campaign of investigation and that it had not been easy to manage their affairs in an organized way during times of stress and pressure.
However, Mr. Magee said a review of the material she had exhibited showed that she did not have sufficient income to accumulate the savings she claimed to have amassed.
Judge Barr said he accepted Mr Magee’s evidence and was not persuaded by Ms Pinfold’s account.
He described Ms Pinfold’s claims that she made a profit of €25,000 on the sale of a tractor as ‘not credible’.
The judge also said he was satisfied that Mr. Kane was the true beneficial owner.
However, the judge said he would need to receive evidence regarding the part of the €4.9 million judgment that remained unsatisfied before he could issue orders appointing Mr Kirby as receiver over the property.
The matter was adjourned for the filing of affidavits dealing with this issue.