Wednesday 21 February 2018

Former solicitor Thomas Byrne gets extra legal aid in €50m fraud trial

By Conor Gallagher

A FORMER solicitor charged with the theft and fraud of over €50 million has been granted extra legal aid to hire a forensic accountant as part of his defence.

Mr Thomas Byrne (46), of Walkinstown Road, Crumlin, faces 52 charges relating to more than 20 residential properties and six banks and totalling more than €52m.

Last year he was charged in the District Court with 21 charges of theft relating to mortgage funds, 14 charges relating to deeds of transfer and assignment on properties, nine charges of deception and eight charges of using false instruments.

All of the offences are alleged to have occurred between 2004 and 2007, all relate to residential properties in Dorset Street, Crumlin, Clondalkin and south Dublin and concern six banks - NIB, IIB, EBS, Irish Nationwide, Anglo Irish Bank and Bank of Scotland (Ireland).

Today, defence counsel Damien Colgan SC told Dublin Circuit Criminal Court that they need to hire a specialist forensic accountant to examine hard drives which form part of the evidence in the case.

Counsel said that the rest of the trial preparations are progressing “nicely”.

Judge Mary Ellen Ring extended Mr Byrne’s legal aid to cover the costs of the accountant and adjourned the matter for trial next October. The case is expected to take three months.

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