Legal colleague of Michael Lynn denies acting for him in property deals

Solicitor tells theft trial she never signed mortgage applications for Lynn

A solicitor who worked for Michael Lynn & Co Solicitors has told his multimillion euro theft trial that she never acted for Mr Lynn in the purchase of a €5.5 million property in Howth.

Giving evidence, Fiona McAleenan said she didn't sign an application for a €3.85 million loan for the €5.5 million Howth property known as Glenlion and that her signature was forged in a March 2007 letter to Bank of Scotland Ireland saying she was acting for Mr Lynn in the matter.

The correspondence stated: “I confirm I am a partner in the firm and I wish to advise I am acting independently of Michael Lynn in this matter.” Ms McAleenan said she had never seen this document until she was shown it in court on Tuesday.

Patrick McGrath SC, prosecuting, asked: “Did you ever have anything to do with this application for the transfer of €3.85 million to the borrowers Michael Lynn and [his wife] Bríd Murphy?”

“No I did not,” Ms McAleenan said.

Mr Lynn (53), of Millbrook Court, Red Cross, Co Wicklow, who is on trial accused of the theft of about €27 million from seven financial institutions, has pleaded not guilty to 21 counts of theft in Dublin between October 23rd, 2006, and April 20th, 2007.

The prosecution alleges Mr Lynn obtained multiple mortgages on the same properties from banks that were unaware other institutions were also providing finance.

The financial institutions involved are Bank of Ireland Mortgages Bank Ltd, Danske Bank, Irish Life & Permanent, Ulster Bank, ACCBank, Bank of Scotland Ireland Ltd and Irish Nationwide Building Society (INBS).

National Irish Bank

Earlier, the trial was shown correspondence from Ms McAleenan's email address to National Irish Bank in February 2007 containing a letter saying Ms McAleenan was in a position to act independently from Mr Lynn.

The letter said Ms McAleenan was a partner in the company and would be “acting in this matter independently and totally at arm’s length from my client”.

Ms McAleenan told prosecution counsel that she did not send that email and that Mr Lynn was never her client. She said it was possible someone had accessed her computer while she was at lunch or in court. She told the trial her computer was not password protected.

Elizabeth Doyle, a legal executive who worked for Mr Lynn at the time, told the trial last week that she signed Ms McAleenan and Mr Lynn's signatures on a number of documents. She said she was told to do this by Mr Lynn.

Ms Doyle told the trial she never discussed this with Ms McAleenan because Mr Lynn had said he would speak to Ms McAleenan about it.

Ms McAleenan said she did not give permission to Ms Doyle or to Mr Lynn to sign her name on any documents.

The trial continues before Judge Martin Nolan and a jury.