A SOLICITOR has admitted taking €1.4m of clients' money to pay tax bills and office expenses.
Earlier this week, the Law Society obtained High Court orders suspending solicitor Paul Madden from practice and freezing his assets.
The orders were sought after an investigation revealed the money, some of which was allegedly used for personal expenses including the purchase of a grand piano, was missing from the solicitor's client account.
Yesterday, Mr Justice Brian McGovern agreed to extend those orders against Mr Madden, of Paul Madden & Company Solicitors, Fitzpatrick Square, Clones, Co Monaghan.
Mr Madden, who did not oppose the application, claims that none of the monies misappropriated went towards payments for his private life, and were all withdrawn in relation to office expenses.
Paul Anthony McDermott, for the Law Society, said Mr Madden admitted to stealing about €1.4m from 25 of the firm's clients.
Mr Madden said the cash was used to pay tax bills, stamp duty, loan repayments, office expenses, as well as fines and fees from appearances before the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal.
Mr Justice McGovern, in adjourning the matter to a date in late September, also granted orders requiring Mr Madden to hand over all his files to the Law Society and provide a sworn statement in response to all the allegations.