A New York heiress, in her sixties, has claimed that her Irish lover, from County Clare, has defrauded her out of millions of dollars. She claims Thomas J Queally has been living a double life.
Elisa Rodino says her mid-40s Irish boyfriend, who she was engaged to, has stolen about $4 million from her. The Irish Examiner reports that a large portion of this was lodged into his bank account in Ennis, Clare.
Rodino says she has not seen the Clare man for months and believes he had another fiancée while he was engaged to her.
Rodino met Queally in 2007, through her sister. They were engaged in 2011. She stated in an affidavit he “started stealing money from me at a early stage in our relationship”.
Queally had helped her manage her New York property portfolio. She called him a “charming and attractive man” and admitted she had been taken in by his attention.
She said he convinced her that he wanted to settle down with her and even brought her home to Ireland to meet his family.
She told how after she attempted suicide in June 2007, Queally helped her."He gave the impression of being very concerned for my well-being, even making sure that I would take the correct medication," she said.
She said: "He was charming and attractive and I desperately wanted to believe him. I genuinely thought that after all my years being single I had finally found someone to love and settle down with."
At the High Court, in Dublin, on Thursday, Rodino acted on her own behalf. She secured freezing orders against Queally, who is based in the United States. This will prevent him from reducing, dissipating or transferring funds below a value of €1.6m held in a bank account at Permanent TSB, in Clare.
Rodino, of Hempstead, New York, claims $2 million of the money in his account is hers. She claims the money was moved from a US account in both their names.
Her lawyer, Ross Gorman BL, said she is vulnerable and had been taken advantage of. Rodino inherited a significant property portfolio in New York from her father, several years ago.
The couple had created a deposit account contain $5 million, in both their names last summer. Queally told Rodino that this would aid him in a court case against a former employer. The Clare man told Rodino that the bank account would show the courts that the construction work he had carried out on her properties was due to their romantic relationship and not as part of a professional contract.
In October 2011 Queally was to meet Rodino in Spain. He never showed up.
When Rodina arrived back in the United States she found that $2 million had been transferred to his bank account in Ennis.
Her lawyer told the court that Queally’s location was not know. Rodino has brought legal action against him in New York, as well as Ireland.
Justice Roderick Murphy presided over the freezing orders. The case will continue in January.