Former Dunlop Haywards director Ian McGarry was accused in the High Court yesterday of taking bribes from a property financier currently at the centre of a multi-million pound court case.
He also lost his application to have the case against him thrown out, and will not be able to go to a full trial to prove he paid back money lent to him.
in a hearing on Wednesday, the court heard claims that McGarry accepted a loan from Shaid Luqman, head of collapsed property finance and development company Lexi Holdings plc, in return for over-valuing properties that Luqman intended to use as security for a £92m loan.
McGarry, representing himself, denied the accusation. He said that Dunlop Haywards had acted as a valuer for Luqman, and that he had carried out valuations for him, but that they were not false. He said that no case has been brought against him or Dunlop Haywards over valuations provided for Luqman.
Theresa Fenton of law firm Birchall Blackburn, which advises Luqman, told Property Week: ‘We deny this claim. The money was paid for the purchase of two flats that subsequently fell through, and Mr McGarry then paid the money back in full.’
KPMG is seeking repayment of £625,000 paid by one of Luqman’s companies in the first two months of 2006. When asked what the loan was for he said that he was entitled not to answer so as not to incriminate himself in an ongoing fraud investigation.
But Ruth Holtham, acting for KPMG, told the court: ‘We assert that at the time these payments were made Mr Luqman was attempting to gain security on a loan of £92m from ABN Amro, and that this loan was a bribe to Mr McGarry in order for him to provide overvaluations on properties to provide security for the loan.’
McGarry also said that the loan plus a premium, which totals £684,000, was repaid in April 2006. But the court’s decision means that an order to account for the £625,000, and any profits he might have made on it, has been upheld.