Hearing in case against former solicitor Michael Lynn set for January 27th

Lynn alleged to have stolen almost €30m from Irish financial institutions

Former solicitor Michael Lynn. Photograph: Alan Betson

Former solicitor Michael Lynn. Photograph: Alan Betson

 

A discovery hearing in the trial of former solicitor Michael Lynn on multi-million euro theft charges has been set for January 27th, the Courts Service has confirmed.

Mr Lynn, who was last year extradited from Brazil to face the charges, left the country after the economic collapse. He is alleged to have stolen almost €30 million from Irish financial institutions.

Sample charges include the theft of €4.1 million from Irish Nationwide on April 4th, 2007 and €3.6 million from Ulster Bank on October 20th, 2006. Mr Lynn was arrested in Brazil, and spent more than four years on remand as he fought the Government’s attempts to secure extradition.

In total, Mr Lynn (50) is charged with 21 counts of stealing money from seven different financial institutions.

In December, the Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal taken by Mr Lynn against a High Court ruling. Ahead of his extradition, Brazilian authorities had sought assurances from Ireland that his time in prison there would be deducted from his sentence were he found guilty in Ireland, and that his sentence would not exceed 30 years. Such assurances are part of the Brazilian extradition process.

Assurances

He had argued unsuccessfully in the High Court that the assurances could not be given by the state due to the constitutional separation of powers. However, he lost the High Court case and the Court of Appeal then dismissed his appeal. Three Supreme Court judges determined the issues of the case had been adequately addressed in the High Court and Court of Appeal.

Mr Lynn has claimed he needs ongoing treatment for severe mental trauma due to the conditions he endured in Cotel prison in the Brazilian city of Recife, where he was held on remand. He has claimed he faced death threats and extortion while there.

The Co Mayo solicitor expanded into property developments in Ireland, and then later abroad, during the economic boom through his company, Kendar Holdings. Overseas investments opportunities were promoted by the company, including attention-grabbing stunts such as giving an apartment in a Bulgarian ski resort away on The Late Late Show and endorsements from celebrities such as Portuguese footballer Rui Costa.

A Law Society investigation resulted in his practice being closed in October 2007. He was later struck off the roll of solicitors. He owed banks and investors more than €80 million at the time he left the country. He has maintained his innocence in interviews since.