MRI Clients Dismayed at ‘Bizarre Decision’ on Furniture Case

MRI Clients Dismayed at 'Bizarre Decision' on Furniture CaseMRI Clients Dismayed at ‘Bizarre Decision’ on Furniture Case

Clients of the now defunct Marbella based Overseas Property Company, MRI Overseas Properties, have expressed ‘dismay’ at what they have termed a ‘bizarre decision’ by Judge Beatriz Fernandez in a Marbella court to  to claim ‘lack of jurisdiction’ over the case. This case had already been moved from a Malaga court to the south of Spain.

MRI or MacAnthony Realty International, was formed in Spain in the early noughties by Dubliner Darragh MacAnthony (pictured leaving the Marbella court in 2012), currently best known as the Florida based owner of struggling English Championship football club, Peterborough United. During the early part of the decade MRI sold thousands of off-plan units to clients, predominantly in the UK and Ireland. Some of these clients are claiming that they paid for furniture packs that were never delivered by MRI. MacAnthony and other MRI directors have constantly denied the accusations, claiming that payment was made to a furniture company that consequently became insolvent.


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Antonio Flores, of Lawbird Legal Services who is representing the former MRI Clients said of the case: “Following the farcical decision by the Court of First Instance of Marbella, we have launched a ‘double appeal’, which entails appealing with the Court of First Instance and if the Court still deems the ruling appropriate, a second appeal will automatically be lodged with the Appeal Court.”

Judge Fernandez dismissed the case on the basis that ‘the alleged criminal actions were carried out abroad since the remitting bank accounts were based abroad’ and that ‘the defendants are of foreign nationality’. Flores says that the group will be contesting the decision on both issues.

Flores claims: “The first argument is wrong because it opposes the principle of territorial jurisdiction of criminal actions: these are pursued wherever they took place which means, prima facie, that if you operate from Spain, receive the transfers in Spain and choose to appropriate the funds in Spain (the mental resolve to making yours deposits sent to you for a specific purpose, without carrying out the instruction), then Spain is the place to pursue them.”

He continues: “The second argument is more worrying because it seems deliberately made up: it so happens that the companies used to commit the fraud are Spanish, and so is the 90-year old straw man who admitted taking 600 euros per month just to appear as the director. The assumptions are that the Judge is either desperate to get rid of the case, or there is a darker ultimate motivation because the ruling does just not stand up to scrutiny due to its absurdity.”

The UK based Daily Mirror reported the conclusion of the case as follows:

Fraud probe into Peterborough United chairman’s property firm is dropped

11 Jan 2013 02:00

His former property firm MRI was said to have conned homeowners out of hundreds of thousands of pounds in undelivered furniture.

A fraud investigation into football boss Darragh MacAnthony has been dropped due to a lack of jurisdiction.

His former property firm MRI was said to have conned homeowners out of hundreds of thousands of pounds in undelivered furniture.

But a Spanish judge halted the probe as the transactions took place outside Spain.

Judge Beatriz Fernandez said in a letter to law firms representing more than 50 British and Irish people: “The court is dismissing the case due to lack of jurisdiction.”

Luis Gonzalez, who represents some alleged victims, said she was “totally stunned” by the move as MacAnthony’s former HQ was in Marbella.

He added: “The transfers were made to a bank account in the same town.”

Peterborough United chairman MacAnthony, 36, was not charged with a crime.

He previously said: “There’s no foundation to these allegations. I operated a company with many happy clients.”


Update: July 2013

I’ve had communication to say that the appeal court has dismissed the decision by the Court of First Instance to shelve the case and has ordered a full investigation. Keep an eye on this website, I’ll be featuring the case when it comes to court.

About diarmaidcondonadmin

Diarmaid Condon is Ireland's foremost Independent Overseas Property Consultant and Journalist. He has been in the industry since 1995 and, in that time, has been a strong advocate for improved legal protection in the sector.


  1. Hello, I paid in full for a furniture package that was never delivered and they lied and cheated non stop through the process. This was a large sum of money. Can anyone advise me who I should talk to with regard to becoming part of this fraud claim.
    Keith Dingwall

  2. Hi,
    I purchased a property in Los llanos de Peral, Albox, ALmeria,Spain through MRI. They provided a solicitor, who we later discovered was not acting in our interests. They assured us our money was bank guaranteed. So, we went ahead & transferred a deposit totalling €50,000. We have never received any property. Is there any help out there? We a a young couple with young children. No time wasters

  3. Is this still an ongoing case and are the victims of undelivered furniture, connected to many different proposed apartments which never happened in various countries? I know somebody who paid €15,000 for furniture while waiting for the Santa Venere property to be built in Italy in 2008. Should she and can she be getting involved in this action?

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