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Alan Hynes bankruptcy extended by High Court to 10 years over ‘total’ non-co-operation with trustee


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Wexford businessman Alan Hynes has had his bankruptcy extended to 10 years over what a High Court judge described as his “total” and continuing failure to co-operate with the trustee administering it.

Mr Hynes, adjudicated bankrupt in October 2022, was due for discharge last October but will now not exit bankruptcy until October 2033.

The High Court adjudicated Mr Hynes and his estranged wife Noreen Dunphy as bankrupts on foot of petitions from John and Bridget Atkinson, of Glenbrien, Enniscorthy, Co Wexford, who obtained judgment against them in 2009 for more than €200,000. Ms Dunphy has since exited bankruptcy.

A tribunal of the Chartered Accountants Regulatory Board in 2015 excluded Mr Hynes from the Institute of Chartered Accountants following a hearing sparked by complaints from investors who lost more than €18 million on his failed property development ventures.

In his ruling on Monday extending Mr Hynes’ bankruptcy, Mr Justice Liam Kennedy said his non co-operation included failure, despite requests on at least 11 occasions, to provide statements of assets and personal information to the official assignee (OA), Ian Larkin, as required under the Bankruptcy Act.

Examples of Mr Hynes’ refusal to recognise the consequences of his bankruptcy for his former assets included his attitude to a Mercedes car and a property in Dunmore East, he said.

Mr Hynes claimed the Mercedes was seized by gardaí but has failed to provide information about that, he said. The OA had written to him seeking €80,000 for the car but, in a “bizarre” response, Mr Hynes appeared to believe the OA was offering €44,995 to buy it.

Mr Hynes had continuously interfered with a property in Dunmore East vested in the OA, he said. The OA disputed Mr Hynes claim that it was his principal private residence and had a copy of a lease, which appeared to be for that property, signed by Mr Hynes on behalf of a company. Mr Hynes had purported to evict tenants from it which he was not entitled to do.

Other examples of “unjustified” interference with assets in the bankruptcy included attempts by Mr Hynes to get payments from certain policies, the judge said.

His conduct amounted to a serious breach of his obligations under the Bankruptcy Act and warranted an extension of the bankruptcy to 10 years, he concluded.

Barrister Michael Connolly, for the OA, earlier told the judge Mr Hynes had “bombarded” the OA’s solicitors with emails and correspondence while “ignoring” the insolvency process and consequences of his bankruptcy. This continued after the interim extension of his bankruptcy was granted last October, counsel said.

Mr Hynes did not participate in the remote hearing on Monday but Mr Connolly read an email sent by him to the OA’s solicitors. It said: “In my situation, it’s necessary to remain calm about this matter. If the court would facilitate an adjournment until the end of next week to allow the parties to make any necessary changes to the warrants and the wording of the agreement as outlined, this would be optional. If the court can also offer me some favourable treatment regarding the misdiagnoses and treatment by Mr Larkin, this would be highly welcomed. I need reassurance that the aggregated agreement is enforceable please.”

The judge ruled that formed no basis for another adjournment.

Mr Hynes previously failed to get a stay on the 2022 bankruptcy order. When he did not attend the Court of Appeal for his appeal against that order, it went ahead in his absence and was dismissed.

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