DPP suspects €6m in property and cash may be linked to Michael Lynn’s €80m bank theft, court told

Judge adjourns to July bid to put questions to former solicitor who is serving five-and-a-half years for theft from banks

Property in Portugal worth €3 million and three bank accounts containing a total of €2.8 million are among assets possibly linked to the crimes of convicted thief Michael Lynn, Dublin Circuit Criminal Court has heard.

A house in Brittas Bay, Co Wicklow, where Lynn (55) had been living, is also among the assets being investigated, Judge Martin Nolan heard when a potential confiscation order application came before him on Tuesday.

Under the Criminal Justice Act 1994, a court can order that a convicted person pay such sums as the court thinks fit because they have been deemed to have benefited from their offending. As part of the process, the court may order that the convicted person respond to accusations about and give reasons for their denial that the assets are linked to their crimes.

The court was told that the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has concerns that certain property may be linked to €80 million believed to have been stolen by Lynn from six banks during the property boom. The house in Brittas, the court was told, is owned by a company, the officers of which “are very strongly linked” to Lynn.


The former solicitor was sentenced in February by Judge Nolan to more than five years in prison after a jury found him guilty late last year of 10 out of 21 charges involving the theft of €17.5 million from six banks in 2006 and 2007. The wider Garda inquiry into Lynn that led to the convictions involved more than €80 million.

The offences involved Lynn, who became a property developer during the boom, making multiple loan applications to the banks using the same properties as collateral. The jury in an earlier trial in 2022 failed to reach a verdict. The bulk of the money that was the subject of the Garda investigation has not been recovered with at least some of it understood to have been invested abroad.

When the possible confiscation application came before the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court on Tuesday, barrister Joe Mulrean for the DPP said the court can sanction an inquiry into assets under a provision of the Criminal Justice Act 1994 in circumstances where it appears to the DPP that a person may have benefited from a crime they committed or where the assets may be connected to the offence.

The court was told that the assets in Portugal were frozen before Lynn was arrested after being extradited from Brazil in 2018 to face trial, for which he was granted legal aid.

Mr Mulrean said that under the Act, Lynn could be ordered to set out his responses to allegations in relation to the assets, indicating those he accepted and those he rejected, and what evidence he intends to rely on to support his response.

Barrister Paul Comiskey O’Keeffe, for Lynn, said his client had yet to be served with notice of the potential application and that he had changed solicitors since his conviction. He was now represented by John O’Donohoe, who represented Lynn in the first trial.

Judge Nolan, having ascertained that all the necessary papers could be served on Lynn through his new solicitor, adjourned the matter to July 8th.

“The money and houses are going nowhere, I presume,” he said.

Mr Mulrean agreed that was the case.

Colm Keena

Colm Keena

Colm Keena is an Irish Times journalist. He was previously legal-affairs correspondent and public-affairs correspondent