MacanthonyAN Irish tycoon who faces the threat of losing his €20m Costa del Sol mansion has denied ripping off property investors.
Football club chairman Darragh MacAnthony is facing allegations in court that he swindled holiday home owners out of hundreds of thousands of euro after failing to deliver furniture ordered for apartments in Morocco, Bulgariaand Cape Verde.
Lawyers acting for investors have asked a Spanish judge to seize his Marbella villa so it can be sold to compensate clients if they win their case.
Dublin-born Mr MacAnthony (36) is chairman of Peterborough United Football Club in England and has been involved in the foreign property business since the early 2000s.
A group of over 50 Irish and British buyers claims €492,000 worth of furniture ordered was never delivered. Mr MacAnthony is contesting the claims.
Mr MacAnthony currently has the villa on the market with an asking price of €20m. If secured, the court order would thwart his bid to sell.
The stunning six-bed property, which sits on an 8,770sqm plot high in the mountains overlooking Marbella, boasts its own gym, three swimming pools, a sauna and an eight-car garage.
Mr MacAnthony has already been quizzed in court in Marbella over the claims he swindled holiday home owners out of hundreds of thousands of euro.
A judge in the Costa del Sol town is probing the colourful tycoon and former business associates as part of a criminal investigation into his Spanish-based property firm MacAnthony Realty International (MRI).
Lawyer Antonio Flores, of Marbella’s Lawbird Legal Services, has calculated that the financial claim from MRI customers could surpass €12m.
Mr Flores said: “We have formally requested an extension of the existing criminal complaint to include the property and asked the investigating judge heading the probe to effectively embargo it and prevent its sale until the case is resolved.
“It’s the only asset Mr MacAnthony’s got in Spain and we want to make sure it can be used to ensure our clients are compensated if we end up winning our case in court.”
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.”
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