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Saturday 30 August 2014

Thomas Byrne 'paid stamp duty on multiple properties', court told

Conor Gallagher

Published 17/10/2013 | 17:02

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Thomas Byrne (45) arriving at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court
Thomas Byrne (47) arriving at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court

The €52 million theft and fraud trial of former solicitor Thomas Byrne has been shown documents showing he paid stamp duty on multiple properties he allegedly fraudulently took possession of.

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Mr Byrne (47) of Walkinstown Road, Crumlin is accused of theft and fraud offences totalling €51.8million. Most of the counts allege he transferred clients’ homes into his name and then used them as collateral for bank loans.

He has pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to 51 counts of theft, forgery, using forged documents and deception between 2004 and 2007.

The seventh day of the trial was dominated by technical evidence concerning the payment of stamp duty.

The jury has already heard from a succession of homeowners and property dealers who claim Mr Byrne transferred their properties into his name using forged signatures.

The trial is now entering its second phase which is expected to concentrate on how Mr Byrne allegedly used these properties as security for loans from six banks. Some of the properties were allegedly used as collateral multiple times with different banks according to prosecuting counsel Remy Farrell SC.

Conor Daly, who was head of Commercial Risk at EBS Building Society, outlined to the jury the process of applying for and receiving commercial loans. He said EBS had 15,000 commercial loan customers at the time.

Officials from the National Stamp Duty Office and Land Registry also gave accounts of how stamp duty is paid and how properties are registered.

Emma Clutterbuck told Mr Farrell that Mr Byrne paid stamp duty on several properties which form part of the allegations against him. She said in several cases late fees were also imposed against Mr Byrne because of delays in the stamp duty payment.

The trial continues before Judge Patrick McCartan and a jury of seven men and five women.

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