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Court satisfied Dany Boon conned out of a significant amount of money by Thierry Fialek-Birles and various corporate entities 
A High Court judge has ruled that French film star Dany Boon is entitled to €4.87 million in damages against several entities found to have defrauded him. 
On Tuesday, Mr Justice Brian O’Moore said he was satisfied to make the award in favour of Mr Boon in proceedings where the French celebrity had sought damages against French national Thierry Fialek-Birles, who is also known as Terry Birles and Thierry Waterford-Mandeville, and companies linked to him. 
The judge said the court was satisfied Mr Boon had been “defrauded” and “conned” out of a significant amount of money by Mr Birles and various corporate entities associated with him. 
The judge also appointed receivers over and made permanent various freezing orders against several assets linked to Mr Birles and various defendants. 
The defendants were also directed to pay Mr Boon’s significant legal costs. 
The assets the receivers will sell to satisfy the judgment include three sailboats in Co Cork and one in Italy, a house in Youghal, Co Cork, and money held in various bank accounts linked to the defendants. 
As well as Mr Birles, the judge was satisfied to make a damages award against several other “co-conspirators” who he said had played “an active part” in the fraud committed against Mr Boon. 
These include South Sea Merchant’s Mariners Ltd Partnership (SSMM), Hibernian Petroleum Limited Partnership, United Irish Estates Limited and Hibernian Yachts Company Limited, which are all Irish-registered entities, and the Samoa-registered United Far East Oriental Holdings (Samoa) Ltd. 
The orders were also made against the US-registered American Sail & Motor Navigation Inc, Amalgamated Plantations Company Ltd, registered in the British Virgin Islands. 
The court declined to make an order against another defendant, Sail & Motor Navigation Company Limited, in Antigua and Barbuda. 
While it did not participate in the proceedings, the court held insufficient evidence had been adduced to enable it to make a damages award against that entity. 
The judge had previously granted formal judgment against various parties who either elected not to contest the applications or never made an appearance in court to deny the claims against them. 
The proceedings against those parties will return to court in January. 
Two other companies that Mr Boon claims were part of the fraud committed against him – Asia Monaco Investments Ltd, with an address in Lusk, Co Dublin, and Monaco-registered Asia Monaco Sarl – have denied the claims and oppose any orders being made against them. 
Seeking the orders, Rossa Fanning SC, for Mr Boon, told the judge Mr Boon claimed Mr Birles advised him to invest €4.5 million of his money through SSMM in a scheme with the Irish Central Bank. 
Counsel said Mr Birles told Mr Boon the scheme paid 3.25 per cent tax-free annual interest. That scheme never existed, and Mr Birles never returned the money to his client, he added. 
Mr Fanning said Mr Boon advanced a further €2.2 million, on foot of advice from Mr Birles, through SSMM, to go towards the maintenance and upkeep of his client’s yacht. 
From their investigations, it was estimated about €1.86 million of that money was either used legitimately or could not be proven to have been used for fraudulent purposes, counsel said. 
Counsel said Mr Boon did not know whether there was any “skimming off the top” of any money paid towards the maintenance of the yacht. 
Their estimate was that €370,000 of those funds was used for fraudulent purposes, counsel said. 
Overall, Mr Fanning said, it remains Mr Boon’s case that his money was used personally by Mr Birles to fund his luxurious lifestyle. 
Following contact from a whistleblower and subsequent investigation by a personal investigator, Belgium-based Mr Boon secured High Court freezing orders in July preventing several corporate entities which Mr Birles allegedly either controls or is the ultimate beneficial owner of from reducing their assets below a value of €6 million. 
Mr Boon claims Mr Birles represented himself to be an “Irish lord from an ancient family” and an expert lawyer in maritime law. 
Mr Birles denied the allegations before he and some other defendants discharged their lawyers and opted not to participate in the proceedings. 
SSMM was previously represented in the proceedings, but then its Irish lawyers ceased to act for it after being unable to get proper instructions from SSMM. 
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