Thursday, January 16, 2014

Court rules US funds are entitled to judgment against Irish woman

Fund trustees had sued Susan Reidy and her company over non-payment of sums 

The US trustees had sued Susan Reidy and Perimeter Interiors , a New York company of which she was the P president and sole shareholder, in New York over non-payment of sums

The High Court has ruled the trustees of several New York benefit and pension funds are entitled to judgment for US$2.5m against an Irish woman who returned to Ireland in 2006 after many years living in the US.

Mr Justice Sean Ryan found the trustees of the New York District Council of Carpenters Pensions, and six other related funds, are entitled to have enforced in Ireland a judgment entered against Susan Reidy by a New York Court in August 2009.

The trustees had sued Ms Reidy and Perimeter Interiors , a New York company of which she was the president and sole shareholder, in New York over non-payment of sums due and owing by the firm to the pension and benefit funds. Ms Reidy had returned to Ireland in 2006 after some 20 years living in the US.

In opposing the application aimed at enforcing the judgment here, Ms Reidy, Kilbricken View, Doora, Ennis, Co Clare, claimed she had a bona fide defence to the claim on grounds including her claim she was not aware of the judgment against her until 2012.

In court documents, the trustees said Ms Reidy was the president, chief executive and sole shareholder of Perimeter and performed all payroll functions of Perimeter. Between 2002 and 2005, Perimeter maintained a secret bank account to avoid paying fringe benefit union contributions, to avoid taxes and to skim money, the trustees claimed.

Perimeter also made payments to a non-union company, Speedy Enterprises Inc, which shared the same business address as Perimeter, the trustees said. This was done to conceal financial activity of the unionised company through the non union company, they alleged.

Ms Reidy’s husband Gerard Mulligan was the president of Speedy and both companies had more than 20 employees in common, it was claimed.

The US Judge hearing the case found Ms Reidy had intentionally and knowingly caused Perimeter to submit false reports and information concerning the number of hours employees had worked to the unions’ benefit fund.

Ms Reidy said she was “not told” about the judgment until May 2012 and it was “a massive shock” when she learned there was a judgment of $US 2.5m against her.

In his ruling, Mr Justice Ryan found Ms Reidy had failed to advance any defence to the claim for enforcement here. She had not raised any issue of fact or law requiring determination at a full hearing, he said.

Source: The Irish Times


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