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Security firm being investigated over €1.8m deficit, court told

Aodhan O'Faolain & Ray Managh - Irish Times

Company provided Shell with personnel during Mayo pipeline construction

A criminal investigation is being conducted into a firm that provided cash in transit and other security services and which has an estimated deficit in its client account of €1.8 million, the High Court has heard.

The Garda probe concerns the affairs of Business Mobile Security Services Ltd (BMSS), the holding company of Senaca. As well as providing a cash in transit service the firm also supplied security personnel to Shell, during the construction of a highly controversial gas pipeline and refinery at Bellanaboy in Co Mayo some years ago.

Last month experienced insolvency practitioner Mr Joe Walsh of JW Accountants was appointed as provisional liquidator of the company, which sought to be wound up due to cash flow difficulties.

The matter returned before Mr Justice Senan Allen at a vacation sitting of the High Court who confirmed Mr Walsh as the firm’s official liquidator after being satisfied that the firm is “grossly insolvent”.

Mr Walsh, represented in Court by Stephen Brady Bl, claims that following his investigations into the companies affairs a deficit of approximately €1.8 million in the firm’s client account. The company with a registered address at Tougher Business Park, Newhall, Naas, Co Kildare, had originally acknowledged deficit of €1 million in the firm’s client account.

The liquidator claims that client’s money had been used to fund the company, counsel said.

Mr Brady said that 68 customers have made contact with the provisional liquidator seeking to have their cash returned to them. The claims from those customers regarding monies in the client or treasury account total €2.7million, counsel said. The Revenue Commissioners are owed over €670,000 by the company, Mr Brady said.

Other clients of the company who claim they are owed money include the Irish Society of Prevention of Cruelty to Children and Horse Racing Ireland. Lawyers acting for the various creditors have entered submissions on how their claims should be treated by the liquidator, the court heard.

Ross Gorman, counsel for the company, said that the firm’s Chief Operations Manager, Jim Farrell, had admitted that clients monies had been used to shore up the company and that he had apologised for that.

Judge Allen heard there was now a criminal investigation following complaints to the Garda into the company’s affairs. The liquidator had asked for an explanation from the firm’s former directors, Jim Farrell and his wife Grainne Farrell, about three payments totalling €62,000 out of the company shortly before it sought to go into liquidation. Mr Walsh seeks to have the Farrells examined before the court about payments out.

Mr Farell who was present at court was given a month by the Judge to provide a sworn statement in regards to payments. Mr Justice Allen adjourned the matter to a date in October.

Posted Date: 
30 August 2019