Friday 19 January 2018

Garda didn't report €610,000 taken from account, trial told

Former solicitor Thomas Byrne denies 51 offences
Former solicitor Thomas Byrne denies 51 offences

Conor Gallagher

A GARDA and property dealer has told the trial of Thomas Byrne that he never made a criminal complaint about €610,000 which was taken from his account at the former solicitor's practice.

Brian Whelan gave evidence that he later learned the money had been paid into the account of property developer John Kelly without his instructions. He said Mr Kelly and Mr Byrne were partners in a property business at the time.

Mr Whelan has alleged that Mr Byrne failed to pass on a €1.87m cheque which was intended to pay off a mortgage on an apartment complex that he had bought with two other gardai.

Mr Whelan said a further €610,000 was also never passed to the bank to pay off mortgages of two other properties. However, the garda never made a criminal complaint about this money.

Mr Whelan was a partner with Mr Byrne in a property company called Compass. About 34 gardai were involved in the company, with Mr Whelan, his wife, Mr Byrne, and another garda, Enda Mulryan, acting as directors.

Mr Byrne (47), of Walkinstown Road, Crumlin, Dublin, is accused of theft and fraud offences totalling €51.8m. Most of the counts allege that 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.

Mr Whelan said Thomas Byrne arranged the sale of two houses in Swords for him for a total of €610,000.

Mr Whelan later made a formal statement to gardai about a Dorset Street property but acknowledged that he did not do so for the missing money from the two Swords properties.

He said he had already made a complaint about it to the Law Society.

Mr Whelan said he was compensated for the Dorset Street property but not for the Swords properties as he had already received the maximum compensation the Law Society would pay out.

The trial continues.

Irish Independent

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