Former solicitor Michael Lynn came to be in breach of an agreement with a bank one year after being issued a loan of €3.6 million, his multi-million euro theft trial has heard.
Mr Lynn (53) is facing 21 charges relating to the alleged theft of around €27 million from seven financial institutions, the trial has heard. He denies all charges against him.
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.
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.
Giving evidence on Friday, Sam Beamish told Patrick McGrath SC, prosecuting, that he was formerly a director of business banking for Ulster Bank prior to his retirement, with him having joined the bank in 2004.
Mr Beamish said that in September 2006 Mr Lynn contacted the bank seeking financing for the purchase of 11 properties in Dublin as investment properties and requesting 85 per cent of the financing from the bank totalling €3.65 million.
He said a formal offer letter for the loans was sent to Mr Lynn later that month containing the terms and conditions of the loans. He said this was later signed and returned by Mr Lynn.
Mr Beamish said the bank received letters of undertaking relating to each of the 11 investment properties. He said each of the letters stated that Mr Lynn has given irrevocable authority to solicitor Fiona McAleenan to give the undertaking.
It is the prosecution’s case that letters of undertaking provided during applications which were purportedly signed by a solicitor and partner at Mr Lynn’s law firm were in fact forgeries signed by an employee of Mr Lynn.
Mr Beamish said that in October 2006, the loan of €3.65 million was transferred to the account of Mr Lynn’s solicitor’s firm. He said he could confirm that the bank received payments regarding this loan for a period of time.
He said that in October 2007, Mr Lynn came to be in breach of the agreement with the bank and that the bank issued a letter demanding full and final payment of all outstanding loans. He said no repayment had been made at the time he gave a statement to gardaí.
Mr Beamish agreed with Feargal Kavanagh SC, defending, that he had never met Mr Lynn, never spoken to him and never acted as his banker.
Mr Kavanagh asked him that given he had little or nothing to do with this particular loan, was he surprised he was the one who was asked to make a statement to gardaí.
Mr Beamish replied that he had been the head of the business centre, that the relationship manager dealing with Mr Lynn had reported to him and that the bank had decided he was the person who had to make the witness statement.
The trial continues next week before Judge Martin Nolan and a jury.