Business World

Thursday 21 August 2014

Lynn chased over luxury New York pad

Rogue solicitor sued over US debts

Roisin Burke

Published 17/02/2013 | 04:00

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Michael Lynn

A SUPREME Court action has been launched in New York against fugitive lawyer Michael Lynn and his wife, Brid Murphy.

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Lynn invested in an ultra- luxury apartment in the St Regis Hotel on Fifth Avenue during the boom and is now being chased for a six-figure unpaid mortgage debt.

The hotel is one of New York's iconic locations, beloved of legends like Marlene Dietrich, Ernest Hemmingway, Truman Capote and Babe Paley in the golden Twenties.

Developer SVO Residence Club Sales of New York is seeking to foreclose on Lynn's share in the property, and is suing for €460,000 in unpaid mortgage, plus further money in damages.

"He will owe much more than that in penalties, interest and legal fees, and those continue to mount," said the company's lawyer, Andrea Rochelle.

The court filing says that Lynn and Murphy "have defaulted in their payment obligations" on the mortgage.

Rochelle has had no contact from Lynn, who is thought to now reside in Brazil, and the company hasn't been able to serve him summons.

The property is a luxury 1,400sqft six-room apartment suite on the East 55th Street side of the hotel, which fronts on to Fifth Avenue. SVO converted a portion of the hotel into upmarket apartments, and wealthy (or formerly wealthy) investors bought timeshare interests in them. Lynn would have been entitled to stay in the salubrious quarters several times a year as part of the deal.

AIB is also a defendant in the case. "AIB comes up as one entity that has a lien against the property and Mr Lynn," Rochelle said.

"My client is seeking first and foremost repayment of its loan, but also to foreclose on Mr Lynn, Ms Murphy and all others that may have an interest, and to bar them from any other interest."

Lynn and Murphy are reportedly living in Brazil, where they received residency visas after Murphy gave birth to their son there last year.

Lynn is wanted here in connection with an alleged €80m mortgage fraud. He fled Ireland in 2007 and is said to have failed to show up to meet the Garda Fraud Squad on several occasions.

The former solicitor from Crossmolina, Co Mayo, was struck off by the Law Society after it emerged that dozens of fake multiple mortgages on properties had been obtained to build up a sprawling international portfolio in Portugal, Budapest, Slovakia and Bulgaria. Many investors are believed to be out of pocket.

It is believed that Lynn is facing around 50 charges related to mortgage fraud.

AIB declined to comment on the case.

Separately, an apartment investment in the St Regis Hotel by bust builder Bernard McNamara and his wife Moira was recently sold to an offshore Jersey company called Ringsend Property.

Irish Independent

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