Tag Archives: MRI

April 28th, 2012
Story by MÓNICA PÉREZ | Sur in English

The chairman of Peterborough United FC and former property developer Darragh MacAnthony, whose name once adorned MRI billboards welcoming potential buyers to ‘MacAnthony territory’, was back in Marbella this week to answer charges brought against Mac-Anthony’s MRI Property International by a group of about fifty former clients. The group, mainly British and Irish, say they paid 15,000 euros each for furniture packs for properties in Turkey, Bulgaria, Italy, Cape Verde, France and Morocco which were never delivered.

Also appearing before the court in Marbella on Wednesday accused of fraud were Dominique Pickering, Sarah O’Callaghan and Nicola Shaw, all former MRI executives. Michael Liggan failed to appear.

MacAnthony was questioned for two hours, during which he confirmed that MRI had received the money from the claimants but stated that the funds had been transferred to the furniture manufacturers, who never supplied the goods. Pickering, O’Callaghan and Shaw’s statements were all to the same effect. In support of this assertion their defence lawyers have presented a document – which to date has not been shown to either the judge or the lawyers for the prosecution – which apparently shows details of the bank transfers to the furniture providers.

Administrator

According to the lawyer Luis Fernando González Ordóñez, the Mac-Anthony property companies were effectively closed down without going into administration, with the only representative now being a 90 year old Spaniard, Fernando Arespacochaga Alcalá del Olmo, sole administrator of the Hispano-Peruvian company, Inmobiliaria Vasco Peruana SAC. Arespacochaga was also in court on Wednesday and stated that he had never had any direct contact with the other accused, and that he is still in receipt of 600 euros a month paid to him by MacAnthony for his services.

The group of clients who accuse MacAnthony of fraud are claiming in total more than half a million euros which they say they deposited with MRI for the purchase of furniture. Most of the transactions took place in Marbella, in the MacAnthony offices which were housed in the building previously used as his ‘Club Financiero’ headquarters by the late Mayor, Jesús Gil.

The Marbella judge will now have to decide whether to proceed with the case.

April 26th, 2012
Story by Gerard Couzens | Herald Ireland

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.”

April 26th, 2012
Story by Juana Viudez | El Pais

El empresario irlandés Darragh MacAnthony, dueño de una inmobiliaria bautizada con su apellido, ha sido imputado por el juzgado número 4 de Marbella (Málaga) por estafa y apropiación indebida. 40 de sus clientes de la oficina que tenía abierta en Marbella, y que ocupaba la sede del famoso Club Financiero, le acusan de quedarse con 600.000 euros que le adelantaron para unos muebles que nunca recibieron.

MacAnthony alegó el miércoles en los juzgados que no se apropió de ese dinero y que fue la empresa intermediaria quien falló en el negocio, según el abogado de los querellantes. El empresario, conocido en Inglaterra por ser el dueño del equipo de fútbol Peterbouroug, es una de las seis personas contra la que se han querellado los clientes de la inmobiliaria. Cinco de los implicados ya han declarado ante la juez Beatriz Fernández.

Según los abogados, los querellados reconocen haber recibido el dinero, pero también aseguran que se lo transfirieron a la empresa proveedora de los muebles. “Se comprometieron con la juez a entregar la documentación que lo acredita”, explicó el letrado Luis González. Los abogados recelan de que el empresario defienda que no cobró “ninguna comisión” por intermediar en la venta de los muebles, ya que alega que transfirió el 100% del dinero.

Los afectados de la supuesta estafa, todos británicos e irlandeses, entregaron entre 10.000 y 15.000 euros para unos muebles que pensaban instalar en las viviendas que la inmobiliaria comercializaba en países como Turquía, Bulgaria, Cabo Verde o Italia. Firmaron sus contratos entre 2005 y 2010, año en el que la empresa cerró su sede en Marbella.

Los querellantes denuncian que han dejado sin bienes a la sociedad y se ha orquestado un traslado a una “oficina fantasma” de Madrid, que supuestamente administra un hombre de 90 años con domicilio en Perú y sin ninguna actividad conocida.

April 25th, 2012
Story by ANDREW PENMAN | Mirror

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”.

April 25th, 2012
Story by Wendy Williams | The Olive Press

Peterborough United boss faces fraud charges in Spain

The Irish football mogul was grilled by the judge in Marbella for two hours behind closed doors.

Arriving in a white Range Rover with two men, it is the first time the football boss has faced the music in Spain.

He was joined by his former chief executive Dominic Pickering, Sarah O’Callaghan, and Nicola Shaw, a former director of MRI Ireland.

Meanwhile, 90-year-old Fernando Arespacochaga, whose Peruvian company Inmobiliaria Vasco Peruana SAC took over MRI Overseas Property Group in 2010, also travelled over for the hearing.

None of the accused, who have continually denied the allegations, would speak with reporters.

“I’m sure you are a lovely lady but I am not speaking to you,” said MacAnthony.

It comes three months after over 40 victims travelled to Marbella to tell a judge how the football boss’ company MacAnthony Realty International (MRI) failed to deliver over half a million euros of furniture to them between 2005 and 2010.

MRI – which boasted an annual turnover of more than 100m euros before the crisis – developed resorts in several countries from its main base in Marbella, from where it sold the furniture packs.

The alleged victims – who filed a claim in Madrid in June last year – accuse MacAnthony, 35, of keeping 600,000 euros which they collectively paid for furniture packages for homes in Bulgaria, Turkey, and Morocco.

Meanwhile, Antonio Flores, the Spanish lawyer acting for the group, claims ‘many other’ customers are also affected and due to file further claims.

“The missing furniture is just one of the irregularities linked to the company,” he said.

Flores insisted an additional claim, totalling 15m euros, is being prepared on behalf of up to 200 British and Irish MRI customers claiming they lost large sums in upfront fees.

“Today was just the first step. The courts were gathering information and just listening to what everyone has to say before they decide how to proceed further,” said Flores.

“There is also another claim that will be made in the not too distant future that is substantial.”

April 25th, 2012
Story by MÓNICA PÉREZ | Diario Sur

El conocido exdirectvo inmobiliario Darragh Macanthony ha regresado hoy a Marbella para declarar ante el titular del Juzgado de Instrucción número 4 tras la denuncia por estafa y apropiación indebida presentada por medio centenar de ciudadanos extranjeros. Los afectados, británicos e irlandeses, ratificaron hace un mes una querella en los juzgados de Marbella. En su día confiaron a esta empresa la compra de mobiliario para viviendas ubicadas en diversas partes del mundo como Turquía, Bulgaria, Cabo Verde, Italia, Francia y Marruecos, donde la inmobiliaria tenía presencia.

Junto a Macanthony, hoy deben comparecer otros directivos como Dominic Pickering, Michael John Liggan, Sarah Ocallaghan, Nicola Victoria Shaw, y Fernando Arespacochaga Alcalá del Olmo.
El primero en declarar ha sido Darrah Macanthoy, que llegaba a los juzgados minutos después de las diez de la mañana, y donde ha permanecido hasta pasadas las doce. A su salida no ha querido harcer declaraciones.
Los querellantes acusan a los exdirectivos de la empresa de quedarse con entre 500.000 y 600.000 euros de las cantidades que dieron a cuenta. La mayor parte de estas transacciones se llevó acabo en la sede que Macanthony estableció en Marbella, en concreto, en las instalaciones que el alcalde Jesús Gil utilizó en su día como Club Financiero.
Según figura en la providencia del juzgado, a la que tuvo acceso este periodico, se deciden praticar nuevas diligencias “visto el estado en que se mantenen las presentes actuaciones y resultando las mismas insuficientes para la determinación y circunstancias del hecho, las personas que en él hayan participado y el órgano competente para el enjuiciamiento”.
En su querella, los denunciantes aseguran que los responsables de la inmobiliaria han dejado sin bienes a la sociedad y han cambiado su domicilio social a una “oficina fantasma” en Madrid de la que figura como administrador un hombre de 90 años sin actividad conocida.
Darragh Macanthotny es actualmente propietario de un club de fútbol de la Primera División Inglesa, el Peterborough United.
April 25th, 2012
Málaga Hoy

Daragh MacAnthony y otros ex directivos de la inmobiliaria MacAnthony Realty International han sido citados a declarar por la jueza del caso Muebles, a fin de tomarles declaración en la querella por estafa y apropiación indebida por la que se les investiga. Se les acusa de haberse apropiado de 600.000 euros pertenecientes a unos 40 denunciantes. Daragh MacAnthony es un personaje público en el Reino Unido -actualmente es propietario del Peterborough, un club de fútbol de la Primera División inglesa, equivalente a la Segunda División en España- por lo que frecuentemente atrae la atención de la prensa de este país.

Los 40 denunciantes tuvieron que ratificar personalmente hace ahora tres meses ante este mismo juzgado, a petición de la jueza de Instrucción Beatriz Fernández Gómez-Escolar, los hechos que denuncian, una actuación que fue que fue ampliamente difundida en el país británico.

Los hechos por los que se les investiga se remontan al periodo 2005-2010. Cada reclamante había entregado un importe de en torno a 10.000-15.000 euros para la adquisición de muebles para las viviendas que adquirían del propio MacAnthony en diversas partes del mundo (Turquía, Bulgaria, Cabo Verde, Italia, Francia y Marruecos) donde su empresa tenía presencia. A los clientes se les obligaba a firmar un contrato de adquisición de mobiliario, muebles que supuestamente luego MacAnthony adquiriría principalmente de empresas en Bulgaria y Turquía, pero que en muchos casos nunca llegó a entregar.

April 25th, 2012
Story by P. SÁNCHEZ | La Opinión de Málaga

El juzgado de Instrucción número 4 de Marbella ha citado a declarar hoy al propietario de la antigua inmobiliaria con sede en la ciudad MacAnthony Realty International. Su dueño, el empresario Darragh MacAnthony, está acusado por 40 querellantes de ser presunto autor de los delitos de estafa y apropiación indebida.

Los denunciantes, británicos e irlandeses, acusan a MacAnthony de haberse apropiado de unos 600.000 euros. Es la cantidad que entregaron para adquirir unos muebles que «nunca recibieron», indicaron sus representantes legales, el despacho de abogados marbellí Lawbird.

Los hechos se remontan al período comprendido entre 2005 y 2010. Cada reclamante invirtió una media de 15.000 euros para comprar muebles para las viviendas que les vendió la misma inmobiliaria en distintas partes del mundo. Es el caso de Turquía, Bulgaria o Cabo Verde, entre otras ubicaciones.

«La empresa ha efectuado un cierre de hecho consistente en el vaciado de la sociedad y de sus activos sin solicitar concurso, lo que podría devenir en un delito societario», indicó el letrado Luis González.

June 6th, 2011
Story by FERGAL MACERLEAN | Mail Online

The founder and top executives behind former holiday home giant MRI face legal action in Spain after hundreds of Britons allegedly lost money estimated to amount to £13million.

Dubliner Darragh MacAnthony, who owns Peterborough Football Club, which has just won promotion to the Championship, set up MacAnthony Realty International (MRI) in Marbella as the Millennium began.

Hugely popular on the British market, MRI boasted a £100 million annual turnover before the credit crunch. As well as property development in Spain, MRI marketed villas and apartments in Morocco, Bulgaria and Cape Verde, where the company also arranged furniture supplies.

But now MacAnthony, 35, and his former joint chief executives, Michael Liggan and Dominic Pickering, have been accused of ‘theft by swindle and misappropriation of funds’ in a claim filed in Madrid by 60 British and Irish claimants who say they lost more than half a million pounds in undelivered furniture five years ago.

Lawyer Antonio Flores of Marbella- based property solicitors Lawbird, accused MacAnthony of failing in an obligation to file for insolvency for his Spanish companies.

MacAnthony and his former chief executives have consistently denied any wrongdoing. In relation to the forthcoming claim, MacAnthony, speaking from the US, said: ‘There are no foundations behind these allegations. I certainly didn’t do anything wrong and neither did anyone with MRI when I was there.’

The allegations made in Spain follow what Northern Ireland MP Sammy Wilson described in the House of Commons last year as a property fraud where MRI, or related companies such as MRI Overseas Property, acted as the developer.

The company used programmes on the Property TV Channel hosted by MacAnthony’s younger sister, Wendy, to market holiday homes.

In 2008, as a result of complaints against MRI, a tribunal held by the National Federation of Property Professionals said it was ‘appalled to hear of the company’s misleading business practices’. It issued fines of £5,000 and MacAnthony resigned his membership of the Federation.

Prompted by complaints from British customers, the Serious Fraud Office looked into MRI but took no action. However, it sent alleged victims a letter which said that although it did not intend to prosecute anyone, this did not mean that an offence had not been committed elsewhere.

The Costa del Sol property empire has all but vanished. An investigation traced MRI companies to an empty office in Madrid.

Documents show that last October MacAnthony and Pickering, as directors, handed MRI Overseas Property Group to a Peruvian company, under the directorship of octogenarian Fernando Arespacochaga, which appears to have never traded.

John and Muriel Andrews from Ballycarry, Co Antrim, paid £26,000 for a furniture pack in 2006, but Mr Andrews said: ‘We as yet have received no furniture, no offer of a refund, no apology.’