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Questions asked over Elan royalty payment scheme

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

Top executives at Elan may have received millions of dollars in tax-free payments from a controversial patent royalty scheme, Irish sources have said.

Income from patent dividends was received by the shareholders of Monksland Investment Company, a company registered at Elan’s Athlone premises.

The dividends payments will do nothing to restore customer confidence in the once-mighty pharmaceuticals giant, whose reputation took a pounding after a January Wall Street Journal article questioned Elan’s accounting practices.

In the aftermath of the Enron accounting debacle, the effect on Elan’s share price was devastating.

Almost 70 of Elan’s key staff including former chairman and CEO Donal Geaney, financial officer Shane Cooke, vice-president of finance William Daniel, along with business and corporate development executive vice- president Seamus Mulligan are all shareholders of Monksland Investment and as such, would be entitled to these tax-free dividend payments.

In six months, Elan’s value fell from $22 billion to just $700 million. The company’s latest cost cutting measure was to slash 1,000 of its 4,700 workforce, including 350 jobs in Ireland.

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The company is also selling off nearly $1.5 billion in assets to pay off debts.

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