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Former solicitor Lynn jailed for stealing over €18m

Former solicitor Michael Lynn has been jailed for five and a half years for stealing just over €18m from financial institutions in 2006 and 2007.

Lynn, who is 55 and from Millbrook Court, Redcross, Co Wicklow, had pleaded not guilty to 21 counts of theft amounting to almost €30m from a number of financial institutions between October 2006 and April 2007 but was convicted of ten offences after a trial last year.

The court heard Lynn took out multiple mortgages on the same properties from different financial institutions who did not know other banks were also providing finance.

The financial institutions involved were National Irish Bank, Irish Life and Permanent, Ulster Bank, ACC Bank, Bank of Scotland Ireland, and Irish Nationwide Building Society (INBS).

Lynn claimed he had “off the books” agreements with the banks to use the loan money for his property developments abroad.

The jury did not believe him. They found him guilty on ten of the 21 counts and told the judge they could not agree verdicts on the others. They spent a total of six and a half hours deliberating.

Judge Martin Nolan imposed a total sentence of 13 years but gave Lynn credit of seven and a half years for the period of time he spent in “inhuman” conditions in a Brazilian jail while fighting his extradition to Ireland.

Lynn first went on trial in spring 2022 but that jury could not agree on a verdict on any count. His evidence at that trial “stunned” the court, the judge said, as Lynn claimed he had permission to use the money to buy property abroad and that the banks were fully aware of what he was doing.

His trial this time was shorter but Lynn again gave evidence in his defence.

The prosecution alleged Lynn was a greedy risk-taker who lived for the next big deal and was gambling that the jury might accept his version of events.

Prosecution lawyers told the jury it was “implausible” that financial institutions across the length and breadth of the country were “in cahoots” with Mr Lynn in such a unique way.

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