Solicitor admitted to taking €1.4 million from client accounts, High Court told

Money concealed in fictitious aunt and foreign client accounts, investigators found

The Law Society has been given permission by the High Court to take control of the offices of a Co Monaghan solicitor

The Law Society has been given permission by the High Court to take control of the offices of a Co Monaghan solicitor

Fri, Sep 13, 2013, 22:42

The Law Society has been given permission by the High Court to take control of the offices of a Co Monaghan solicitor who admitted he took almost €1.4 million from client accounts.

Paul Madden, of Paul Madden & Co Solicitors, Fitzpatrick Square, Clones, Co Monaghan, had admitted to the society he took the money from the accounts of 25 clients. He said he used it to pay loans, tax, wages, office expenses and fines imposed by the society, the court was told.

Barrister Paul Anthony McDermott, for the Law Society, said the society believed Mr Madden had used the money for private purposes. These included paying credit card debts and the purchase of a grand piano.

Mr Justice Brian McGovern granted orders allowing the society to take over Mr Madden’s offices. He also extended temporary orders granted earlier freezing Mr Madden’s accounts and prohibiting him from practising pending an investigation.

Fictitious account

Mr McDermott said Mr Madden was consenting to the orders.

The court heard Mr Madden concealed the misappropriated funds by operating a fictitious account of a foreign client for a number of years.

According to documents filed in the court, he had also claimed another account belonged to his wife’s fictitious aunt.

The society first investigated Mr Madden in 2010 when a deficit was discovered in the account of one of his clients amounting to more than €156,000.

In July last, another investigation uncovered the “fictitious aunt account”. Mr Madden initially told the Law Society that “Aunt Irene” would swear an affidavit, but subsequently admitted she did not exist.