Thursday 25 May 2017

Solicitor is struck off for €1.25m bank loans misconduct

Tim Healy

A SOLICITOR who fraudulently obtained loans leaving a financial institution at a loss of €1.25m was struck off the solicitors' roll yesterday.

Mary Miley, formerly practising as Miley and Co Solicitors, Brewery Place, Rathdrum, Co Wicklow, used €570,000 of the money for her personal benefit.

She did so by by pretending she was acting for a borrower called Mary Ann Dore -- in fact, the 'borrower' was herself using her married name.

The High Court heard that Secured Property Loans Ltd (SPL), was seeking to recover the money and yesterday it was granted an order freezing Ms Miley's assets below €1.25m.

High Court President Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns also agreed to a request from the Law Society to have papers on the matter referred to the DPP for a possible criminal prosecution.

He also ordered Ms Miley to make restitution to the parties who were at a loss as a result of her activities and ordered her to surrender her passport.

Ms Miley's solicitor Robert Dore said she was consenting to all the orders being sought but was making no admission of criminal wrongdoing.

The judge ordered Ms Miley to make restitution of €225,515 to a former client who was at a loss of that amount because Ms Miley had given undertakings for a loan on two properties in Bray, Co Wicklow, when she had no instructions to do so. Ms Miley had represented to the Alliance Credit Company that an undischarged bankrupt was the owner of the properties when in fact they belonged to the client.

The court also ordered her to make restitution to another couple who had been left out of pocket to the tune of €9,769 after she failed to comply with undertakings she gave on their behalf to a lending institution.

Earlier, Shane Murphy, for the Law Society, told the court the order striking Ms Miley off was being sought over multiple fraudulent acts which Ms Miley had been found guilty of by a disciplinary tribunal.

Misconduct

The most serious was in relation to SPL. Ms Miley was found guilty of 52 allegations of misconduct over five loans she obtained in 2005 and 2006 for sums totalling €995,000. The total amount now owed to SPL stood at €1.25m, he said.

She forged or falsified documents, including two on which she used her married name to get loans totalling €570,000.

In an affidavit, the Law Society's deputy head of complaints, Antony Watson, said Ms Miley used a number of false or forged documents to obtain the loans. These included a falsified page from a passport, a forged notification of a grant of planning permission by Wexford Co Council for a house in support of the loan application for "Mary Ann Dore", and false payslips and P60 forms.

Irish Independent

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