Struck-off fugitive Lynn arrested in Brazil
State to press for wanted solicitor to be extradited
Michael Lynn: The Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation has continued to pursue him.
Solicitor Michael Lynn has been arrested in Brazil and is due before the High Court there as early as today as part of the first step in the State’s efforts to secure his extradition to Ireland. The 44-year-old has been living in Brazil in recent years and was granted permanent residency last year after the birth of his son there.
As there was no extradition treaty between Brazil and Ireland, he appeared to be beyond the reach of the law here. However, a bilateral agreement has been put in place between the Brazilian and Irish authorities and on the basis of that, the Irish authorities sent an extradition request for Mr Lynn to Brazil, which led to his arrest.
Mr Lynn, who is originally from Crossmolina, Co Mayo, was living in Brazil in the state of Pernambuco, where he was arrested in what was effectively the first step in the Irish State’s efforts to bring him before the courts here.
If that process proves successful, Mr Lynn will be extradited and will immediately be charged with a number of criminal offences relating to his business dealings here, including allegations that he used fraudulent paperwork to secure mortgages, sometimes numerous ones on the same properties.
An arrest warrant has been active for him since 2007, which relate to the High Court’s efforts to compel him to attend the court and deal with civil matters relating to his €80 million in property dealings as they began to unfold.
Contempt of court
Irrespective of where he was residing and the existence of extradition agreements with Ireland, Mr Lynn could not be extradited on the basis of the contempt of court arrest warrant.
Suspects can be extradited only if they have been investigated in Ireland, a file submitted to the Director of Public Prosecutions and directions given by the DPP to charge the person with a criminal offence. “Suspects can’t be extradited to be questioned about something, the criminal charge has to be ready to go and in place,” said one legal source, speaking in general terms.
Although he left the country, the fall-out from Mr Lynn’s failed business dealings has continued in the commercial courts for his and his clients’ assets. The Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation has continued to pursue him. The investigation into dozens of separate allegedly criminal business dealings, resulted in the DPP recommending he be charged.
While the arrest and extradition efforts relate to those charges, it is not yet clear exactly what he has been arrested for now. Details will most likely emerge when he appears before the High Court in Brazil.
The High Court here was dealing with his failed enterprises, which involved liabilities of up to €80 million, when he left the country. He initially seemed willing to give evidence to some court hearings via satellite link from abroad but those plans were hit when he said he was unwell.
The Law Society first reported complaints against him to the gardaí in October 2007. Having practised in Capel Street in Dublin’s north inner city, he was struck off by the President of the High Court in 2008 and was fined €1 million.
A number of properties held in his name have been repossessed in his absence and his former home in Sandymount, Dublin, has been disposed of. He had been living in Portugal and Hungary, but because there were no criminal charges approved for him in Ireland at that time, he could not be extradited here.
He was spoken to by the police in Hungary in August 2009 but no criminal issue arose and he was free to go.
Some of his clients gave money to him to complete transactions for them, which they allege they have lost.