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Date of Issue: January 27, 2010

Court considers privilege exception

U.S. Federal Bankruptcy Court trustee Angela Welch Esposito asked the court to waive the crime-fraud privilege relating to the attorney-client relationship in a trust formed Dec. 18, 2002, by Robert and Arlene Byrne.

Judge K. Rodney May held the final evidentiary hearing on the request Jan. 22.

Lawyers in the Isle of Man representing the U.S. bankruptcy court argued that Robert Byrne concealed $1.6 million from U.S. court officials during bankruptcy proceedings that began in December 2008.

The court of the Isle of Man has not announced its final decision on the $1.6 million in assets of the Byrnes’ frozen by the court Dec. 29, 2009.

That court was to hear any response from the Byrnes, but results were not yet available to The Islander at press time.

Investigators have traced some of the $1.6 million to a bank in Tanzania and a trust fund in the Cook Islands in the South Pacific.