Property developer John Kelly rejects ‘scurrilous’ allegations by ex-solicitor Thomas Byrne
Kelly notes previous assertions by Byrne had been rejected by High Court in civil proceedings
Thomas Byrne was found guilty last month on 50 charges relating to theft and fraud. Photograph: Collins Courts.
Property developer John Kelly has rejected as “scurrilous and false” the allegations made against him by the former solicitor Thomas Byrne, who was sentenced to 12 years in jail last week for fraud and theft offences.
Mr Kelly said he never received monies from Byrne other than monies properly payable to him as part of the solicitor-client relationship between them.
He said previous assertions by Byrne to the contrary, and that there was a partnership between them, had been rejected by the High Court in civil proceedings between them.
“In the course of those proceedings Mr Kelly made full discovery of his financial records, including bank statements, disclosing all monies received by him (or his companies) from Thomas Byrne’s solicitors’ practice during the course of Mr Kelly’s engagement of Mr Byrne as solicitor,” said a statement from his solicitor in response to queries from The Irish Times.
It went on: “Mr Kelly notes that Mr Byrne or his advisers did not seek to make reference to or rely on this evidence or documentation in the course of his criminal trial or in fact seek to introduce any evidence supporting his claims.”
Byrne (47), of Mountjoy Square, Dublin, was found guilty last month on 50 charges relating to theft and fraud totalling almost €52 million.
He was found to have transferred clients’ homes into his name and then used them to fraudulently secure loans from six financial institutions.
Byrne claimed in evidence that he had been threatened by Mr Kelly, but he did not run a legal defence of duress.
In his statement, Mr Kelly’s solicitor said his client “obviously rejects the scurrilous and false allegations made by Mr Byrne in his evidence, including allegations that Mr Kelly engaged in behaviour which was threatening to Mr Byrne and/or any member of his family”.
He said Mr Kelly understands that the Garda have confirmed no complaint was or has ever been made by Byrne to the Garda and noted “that Byrne was unable to produce any witness or corroborating evidence supporting his allegations”.