Lynn told bank manager he intended to stay in country, court hears

Meeting held with lender after newspaper reported on solicitor’s business affairs

Michael Lynn told a bank manager that he intended to stay in the country in the wake of newspaper reports regarding his business affairs, his multi-million euro theft trial has heard.

Former solicitor Michael Lynn (53) is on trial at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court accused of the theft of around €27 million from seven financial institutions.

Mr Lynn, of Millbrook Court, Red Cross, Co Wicklow, has pleaded not guilty to 21 counts of theft in Dublin between October 23rd, 2006 and April 20th, 2007.

It is the prosecution case that Mr Lynn obtained multiple mortgages on the same properties in a situation where banks were unaware that other institutions were also providing finance.

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

On Friday, Thomas Brennan, a senior manager at Bank of Scotland Ireland from 2004 to 2010, gave evidence.

Mr Brennan told John Berry BL, prosecuting, that he was introduced to Mr Lynn when Mr Lynn was already a client of the bank. After this introduction, he said he took over managing the relationship with Mr Lynn.

Mr Brennan said that in November 2006, Mr Lynn sent him a letter outlining a proposal to purchase 10 investment properties and seeking 70 per cent financing to fund these purchases.

The court heard evidence of 10 loans which Mr Lynn took out with the bank over a three-month period between February and May 2007.

The court heard that in October 2007, a number of newspaper reports were published in relation to Mr Lynn’s business affairs.

“As a result of these reports, we arranged a meeting,” Mr Brennan said. Mr Brennan said he attended the meeting with a number of colleagues, while Mr Lynn had two colleagues with him.

During the meeting, Mr Lynn “asserted he fully intended to address the claims made against him,” Mr Brennan told the court. “He asserted his intention to stay in the country to address these issues.”

Mr Lynn also asserted his intention to “remain available to bankers to resolve this”, Mr Brennan said.

When Mr Berry asked if another meeting was held with Mr Lynn after this, Mr Brennan replied: “No.”

After the October 2007 meeting, the bank took the decision to review all of Mr Lynn’s affairs, the court heard. As a result of the review, it was found that nine of the 10 properties were registered and the bank’s interest had been secured, Mr Brennan said.

In these nine properties, the bank’s own solicitors were involved in registering the bank’s interest, the court heard.

In relation to the 10th property, Mr Lynn undertook to provide security and a bank solicitor accepted this proposal, the trial heard. The bank was left at a loss of the mortgage value of around €224,000 in relation to this property.

Mr Brennan said that searches of the registry of deeds and land registry found that other banks had also provided security for the nine properties secured by Bank of Scotland Ireland, including Bank of Ireland, Permanent TSB and Ulster Bank.

Mr Brennan said the bank was never informed other loans had been drawn down on these properties. He said he would not have advanced money to Mr Lynn if he had known these other loans had been drawn down.

The trial resumes next week before Judge Martin Nolan and the jury.