December 20, 2009

Millions stolen from Adam Clayton

This post taken from

Sunday December 20 2009

U2 BASSIST Adam Clayton's personal assistant and housekeeper -- alleged to have misappropriated up to €1.8m of his money -- was lying low yesterday ahead of another High Court hearing tomorrow.

Carol Hawkins, who was employed by Clayton, is alleged to have spent the money on property, including a New York apartment, flash cars and jewellery, with €900 a month spent on a syndicate which maintained horses.

Yesterday a media posse laid siege to her modest detached Crannagh Road, Rathfarnham, home in Dublin which had the blinds drawn. Ms Hawkins, who has denied using the money in this way, was keeping a low profile.

In a surprise move late on Friday, Clayton secured a temporary court order freezing her assets. They will remain frozen at least until tomorrow when the case comes back before the High Court.

The court heard that Clayton, of Danesmoate Demesne, Kellystown Road, Rathfarnham, first became aware of problems in September 2008.

His senior counsel, Paul Sreenan, said Ms Hawkins confessed she had misappropriated €13,000 of his money. The U2 band member had dealt with this incident in "a compassionate manner". He had altered his financial arrangements and kept her in his employ.

But it had emerged since then that -- without his authorisation -- she had used his debit and credit cards for her own use and for her family's benefit.

On November 19 last, when the allegations were put to her, she had accepted the cards had been used and money was taken without Clayton's authorisation. But she had disputed the sums involved. Her employment was then ended by Clayton and the gardai had been told about "certain matters".

The lawyer said the former housekeeper had denied she bought a house, cars or flashy jewellery. When it was suggested to her she had been withdrawing about €600 twice daily for a period of 13 months, she said she had used it as needed.

She also acknowledged she had lodged some money into her own bank account and had breached her contract. An investigation revealed around €900 a month was spent on a syndicate which maintained horses.

It's also alleged that Ms Hawkins bought flights to Chicago for her son and members of a band in which he was involved. Clayton denies authorising this.

Mr Sreenan said a probe by two accountants revealed up to €1.8m seemed to have been misappropriated. The lawyer said it appeared an apartment in New York had been bought.

The U2 band member was concerned that Ms Hawkin's assets might be dissipated and this was why he was seeking the freezing order.

Ms Justice Mary Laffoy granted the interim order sought. The order restrains Ms Hawkins from reducing her assets below €1.8m. It also entitles her to €1,000 for living and legal expenses before the case is heard again in the High Court tomorrow.


Sunday Independent

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