Luxury property investment firm used for ‘improper purposes’, judge says
Posted on 1st February 2021 at 20:02
High Court orders winding up of company formed for investments on Costa del Sol
A High Court judge has ordered the winding up of an Irish registered luxury property investment firm and said it was being used for “improper purposes”.
Mr Justice Brian O’Moore said it was open to the liquidator to bring the case of Lux Estate Capital Ltd to the DPP and the Director of Corporate Enforcement, and such an order was not required from the court.
The judge granted the winding up order in respect of Lux Estate Capital Limited, with a registered address at Townspark, Trim Road, Athboy, Co Meath, which purports to be involved in real estate investments in various countries, primarily in Spain.
“It seems to me that it should be wound up, that it is being used for improper purposes,” the judge said.
Liquidator Myles Kirby in a report to the court said the company was purportedly formed to carry out real estate transactions in Spain’s Costa del Sol. He said photos of properties from the internet had been supplied along with “utterly implausible explanations. ”There was “no evidence that the company ever engaged in meaningful trade”, he said.
Mr Kirby further stated that it appeared from the available documentation the petitioner has been the victim of a fraud, where funds were obtained by false pretences that she was investing in a €7 million business.
The court heard that the company was run and owned by a Polish national called Lukasz Salamander, also known as Lukasz Salamandra.
After living in Ireland, where he worked for a courier company, he moved to Spain last year.
It is alleged that he used Lux “as a vehicle to procure monies by way of “bogus investments in property”.
The High Court previously heard that following representations from Mr Salamander, fellow Polish national Katarzyna Kryzaznowska invested €40,000 in the firm on false pretences and claims to be a victim of “a fraud”.
She sought the return of her investment, but when her monies were not repaid, she petitioned the court to have Lux wound up.
Insolvency practitioner Myles Kirby was appointed as provisional liquidator to the company by a judge in December, after the court was told Lux was insolvent and could not pay its debts as they fall due.
Ms Kryzaznowska, who lived in Ireland for many years before returning home, was represented in court by Arthur Cunningham BL instructed by solicitor Peter Boyle.
Counsel said his client became acquainted with Mr Salamander when they both lived in Ireland. He represented to her that Lux was worth over €7 million.
Earlier this year it is claimed that Mr Salamander offered her an opportunity to invest in Lux, counsel said. She invested €40,000, €30,000 of which she borrowed , in return for 1 per cent share of Lux.
As part of the deal, she received documentation from Mr Salamander and was promised monthly payments of €4,000, counsel said.
However, she only received one payment of €2,500. Records showed the company was incorporated in May 2020.
After making inquiries, Mr Salamander told her that Lux had delayed making payments due to Covid-19, and that the firm’s bank account had been frozen by the Revenue Commissioners, counsel said.
While Mr Salamander told her that Lux was cancelling its arrangement with her, and said assurances that payments had been to her account, Ms Kryzaznowska has not received any monies from the company and her financial circumstances have been badly affected. As a result. she had petitioned the court.
In a sworn statement to the court, solicitor Peter Boyle said Mr Salamander’s real name is Lukasz Salamandra. Mr Boyle said Mr Salamander was charged and found guilty in Poland in 2016 of defrauding a woman of €16,000.
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