THE bravery of Byrne's former employee, solicitor Barbara Cooney,was praised by the trial judge.
Ms Cooney, pictured, blew the whistle on Mr Byrne's fraud after discovering he had forged her signature on a document.
Judge McCartan said Ms Cooney had the courage to go to the Law Society even after Byrne and his former business partner John Kelly tried to stop her.
The judge noted that there was a "tense atmosphere" at the time and that Ms Cooney was in fear, although she could not say why.
The judge said it was a "particularly nasty" aspect of the case that Ms Cooney was later sued as a result of Byrne forging her signature. She successfully defended the case and Byrne later admitted the forgery during a civil case.