Records shed new light on Michael Lynn’s business activities in Brazil
Documents show solicitor and wife linked to ventures in three major cities
The street outside the office of the property company co-owned by Irish solicitor and his wife Bríd Murphy in Recife, Brazil. Photograph: Ruadhán Mac Cormaic.
So little light comes through the small window that the visitor has to strain to make out the tiny room in Recife that serves as headquarters to Michael Lynn’s latest business venture.
Apart from some plaster that has fallen from the walls and a bunch of unopened letters (including correspondence from at least two Brazilian banks) inside the door, the office is deserted. The sheet of dust that covers the metal grille on the door suggests it hasn’t been in use that much lately.
Records held by the Pernambuco Trade Board show that this is the head office of Quantum Assessoria E Empreendimentos (Quantum Consulting and Ventures) Ltd, a property company co-owned by Mr Lynn and his wife Bríd Murphy.
Founded in October 2011, its activities include the purchase and sale of properties, as well as consulting services in the sector. Business accounts are not provided, but the documents show that the firm’s capital is €591,000 – a six-fold increase on what it started out with.
Shown a photograph of Mr Lynn this week, the occupant of an adjoining office confirmed the solicitor was renting the unit. He said a secretary had been based there for some time, but that it had been empty for about the past four months.
The files also shed new light on Mr Lynn’s movements in Brazil. In 2011 and 2012, the principal home address listed by the solicitor and his wife was in Jardins, an expensive suburb of São Paulo. A change-of-address amendment was filed for the company itself last year when it moved to its current address in Recife, but the Lynns’ home address remains listed as Sao Paulo.
The link to Brazil’s commercial capital, almost 3,000 km from Recife, suggests Mr Lynn’s connections extend far beyond the north-east of the country.
He was arrested in Recife last week and is being held at a prison on the outskirts of the city pending a judicial decision on an extradition request from the Irish authorities.
The files, which describe Mr Lynn as a lawyer and his wife as a businesswoman, reveal that in May last year the owners raised the firm’s declared capital from €98,000 to €591,000.
When the company was established, a Brazilian lawyer was named as company secretary, giving him the authority to sign cheques and contracts on behalf of the firm. His role was diluted in May last year, when he and Ms Murphy became co-administrators. Updated files lodged last October show he later ended his involvement.
One of Mr Lynn’s projects was a residential property venture in Cabo de Santo Agostinho, 35km south of Recife, which is growing rapidly thanks to the expansion of a major port in nearby Suape.
Mark Astle, director of the language school where Mr Lynn worked as a part-time tutor for the past year, said the Irishman was “building some stuff” in Cabo but that he wasn’t aware of the details.
It emerged in recent years that Mr Lynn also has a connection to Fortaleza, a booming coastal city 90 minutes by plane to the north of Recife. He and his wife were listed as owners of Golina, a property firm whose papers were first lodged in November 2007. A month later, in December 2007, Mr Lynn fled Ireland with debts of €80 million.