independent

Thursday 17 April 2014

Fugitive Lynn tried to strike new property deals from Brazil base

Michael Lynn: was moved to better part of prison because he has a university degree

FUGITIVE solicitor Michael Lynn was attempting to strike new property deals at his Brazilian bolthole, despite being wanted for an €80m fraud in Ireland.

The astonishing revelation that he had not given up on his dreams of property riches came as it emerged he had now been moved to a better part of his prison – because he has a university degree.

Business documents showed that a Michael Thomas Lynn was the registered owner of a real estate company based close to where he had been living for the past two years in Jaboatao dos Guararapes, near the city of Recife in the state of Pernambuco in north-east Brazil.

The firm, named Quantum Assessoria e Empreendimentos Ltda (Quantum Consulting and Ventures), was registered in October 2011 and remains active, according to the Pernambuco Board of Trade.

Registration documents revealed the company to be in the property sales and rental business, with capital of R$1,800,000 (about €575,000).

Business accounts were not available.

Among the commercial activities listed on the documents were the purchase, sale and rent of property, the construction of buildings and management consulting services.

Lynn is also understood to have tried to do a deal involving industrial units in the town of Cabo de Santo Agostinho, located just south of his home near Recife.

Mark Astle, Lynn's boss at English school Britanic Piedade, said: "He was trying to do exactly the same thing he had been doing in Europe. That was the impression I got. But he was quite secretive about it, it was not something he would talk about very much."

Mr Astle also revealed that former millionaire Lynn was finding life difficult in the "hellhole" Cotel prison, located in the outskirts of Recife.

He said: "It was very tough for a man like him. It's a hell-hole in there. In the first few days he was on the rough side of the prison, where it was overcrowded by about four times the capacity.

"I believe he has now been moved after (his wife) Brid brought a document and proved that he was a university graduate."

Mr Astle said: "She is putting up a brave face to the world, but she's a women with a three-year-old son and another child on the way.

"Who knows what is going on inside her. But she seems as good as could be expected in the circumstances."

Graduates get special prison privileges in Brazil, a country where many in the middle classes are often perceived to escape the harshest penalties for criminal activities.

Lynn is being held in a special area of Cotel reserved for those with university diplomas, with 26 Brazilians.

His cellmates are either college graduates or police officers.

REJECTED

Lynn (44) fled Ireland in 2007 over allegations of fraud estimated at €80m and was listed as code red on Interpol's database, meaning he was wanted for prison.

He is accused of causing losses to investors who bought properties in Portugal, Bulgaria, Slovakia and Hungary through his company.

Lynn and his wife were previously known to have been the listed owners of Golino, a real estate company in another north-eastern city, Fortaleza, in Ceara.

But their work permit application linked to the company was reportedly rejected in September 2008.

However, they were eventually granted residency in Brazil by virtue of their Brazilian-born child.

Irish Independent

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