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Financial Integrity, Football, Moral Integrity, Tax Havens

Denis O’Brien: Major Celtic shareholder uses same Swiss Lawyers to hide shares as Dermot Desmond for his Panama Papers bearer shares

Denis O’Brien’s shareholding in Celtic PLC

From Investegate on 22 December 2006:

DOB Telstar Holdings SA

The shares were bought from Martin O’Neil according to the lse website :

DOB buys MON shares

Note: The information from the stock exchange notice of Telstar Holdings SA is wrong. On the Celtic website it’s listed as Telsar Holdings SA Depfyffer and Associes:

Convertible Preferred Ordinary Shares

Telsar Holdings SA and Depfyffer and Associes holds 1.6 million [12.26%] of Celtic PLC’s Convertible Preferred Ordinary Shares.

And where does Telsar Holdings SA Depfyffer and Associes reside? According the following search in Switzerland:

Telsar Holdings SA Swiss company

Telstar Holdings SA is held at the offices of Depfyffer and Associes an interesting law firm based Geneva. So Mr O’Brien shares are held in a tax haven.

Denis O’Brien & Dermot Dermot connections started in the ESAT Digifone mobile deal 

Denis O’Brien and Dermot Desmond both made their fortunes from the award of the 2nd Mobile Phone license in Ireland when Mr Desmond funded Mr O’Brien and took an interest % in the O’Brien consortium. From The Irish Independent on 27 March 2011:

DOB and DD profits from ESAT Digiphone deal

Similar to O’Brien, Dermot Desmond moved his tax residency outside Ireland to put his profits beyond the Irish tax authorities.

Unfortunately for both men the stench of corruption has followed them ever since the deal was done. From The Guardian 22 March 2011:

Irish Minister accused of collusion over telecoms bid

The Moriarty Tribunal was established to examine corruption by Irish policitians, Charles Haughey, (Taoiseach) and Michael Lowry (Minister of Transport, Energy and Communications) and payments made to those politicians by Irish businessmen including Dermot Desmond with payments to Haughey and Denis O’Brien with payments to Lowry. 

Denis O’Brien’s Wikipedia entry the Moriarty Tribunal reads:

The Moriarty Tribunal’s second and final report found that Michael Lowry, Ireland’s then energy and communications minister, assisted O’Brien in his bid to secure a mobile phone contract for Esat Digifone, a key foundation of O’Brien’s personal wealth. The tribunal found that this happened after Lowry received a $50,000 payment from O’Brien via a circuitous route involving a complex arrangement of third parties and offshore accounts. It said that it was “beyond doubt” that Lowry gave “substantive information to Denis O’Brien, of significant value and assistance to him in securing the [mobile] licence” during at least two meetings between the two. The Tribunal was not a court of law; its findings were “legally sterile”.

Surprise: Denis O’Brien and Dermot Desmond use the same tax avoidance lawyers

Remember Depfyffer and Associes in Switzerland looking after Denis O’Brien’s Telsar Holdings SA above well they appear a lot in the Panama Papers in the great work being done by the ICIJ (International Consortium of Investigative Journalists):

De Pfyffer header

Depfyffers Panama Papers

Note the company Ard International Inc. on the 2nd line of the list above and the Incorporation date of 21 June 2005. 

Now remember Dermot Desmond’s reported involvement with Mossack Fonseca in the Panama Papers. Here is the section from the Irish Times dated April 7 2016:

Irish Times DD article april 7 2016

There is the evidence of Dermot Desmond using Depfyffer and Associes to do business through Ard International Inc.

“The files include a June 2005 letter from HSBC Private Bank in Switzerland to Mossack’s office in Panama in relation to a Panamanian company called Ard International Inc.”

Bearer shares were used then Mr Desmond requested the Ard International directors to grant power of attorney to two Swiss lawyers. DePyffer and Associes most likely since that is what comes up in the Panama Papers.

Then Mr Desmond tries to erase the paper trail by asking for the documentation to be destroyed.

Ard International Inc. is now in default.

More verification from the Panama Papers this time searching on Ard International Inc where ‘The Bearer’, Bearer shares, is listed in the diagram and Status: Defaulted

Ard In Inc Panama Papers

Ard In Inc diagram Depfyffer and Associes

The Offshore Game has not done any digging like above. They don’t want to know about Celtic’s 2 major shareholders hiding their investments in the tax secrecy havens of Gibraltar and Switzerland, holding companies, bearer shares or Panama Papers.

For them it’s all about the Rangers while they lie that it’s about Sporting Integrity. Their bias is so blatant you could not trust any blog/report generate by them.

Question: Denis O’Brien wasn’t soaking up these Convertible Preferred Ordinary Shares for his friend Dermot Desmond because they count as Ordinary shares in shareholder votes and also because Mr Desmond didn’t want to acquire them and go over shareholding limits that meant he had to make a full offer for all shares?

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One thought on “Denis O’Brien: Major Celtic shareholder uses same Swiss Lawyers to hide shares as Dermot Desmond for his Panama Papers bearer shares

  1. And yet we read nothing about this in the papers. The only crap we get is David Cameron’s dad had overseas tax avoidance schemes and Emma Watson invested the money somewhere she shouldn’t. What is blatantly obvious is that Charles Haughey was corrupt to the core. His ‘throw the rule book out the window’ approach to financial governance throughout his existence, just to fill his cohort’s pockets with someone else’s money is sickening. But big questions need asking here, but none bigger than why was The Moriarty Tribunal’s findings were not taken to court. That way the guilty are outed legally and at least if swindled money can’t be recovered, the guilty, O’Brien, Haughey, Lowery and Desmond are shamed. Haughey is dead but his financial love child Desmond thinks he can get away with anything and until now that appears to be about right. I’ve really enjoyed the last 2 posts. I know there is much more to come as Celtics board rooms past and present are full of shall we just call them Characters for now.

    Posted by Scott Mclachlan | May 30, 2016, 10:24 am

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