Verdict due in €52m solicitor fraud case
THE jury has begun its deliberations in the €52m theft and fraud trial of former solicitor Thomas Byrne.
The jurors deliberated for two hours and 35 minutes yesterday before being sent home for the night.
Mr Byrne (47), of Mountjoy Square, Dublin, is accused of theft and fraud offences totalling €51.8m.
The charges allege he transferred clients' homes into his name and then used them as collateral for property loans. He is also accused of using invalid collateral to fraudulently borrow millions from six financial institutions. He has pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to 50 counts of theft, forgery, using forged documents and deception between 2004 and 2007.
Yesterday the jury heard a summary of the 23-day trial from Judge Patrick McCartan, who also advised them on matters of law.
Mr Byrne claims his former business partner John Kelly forced him to borrow €51.8m from the banks because they would no longer lend to him.
He said that Mr Kelly threatened to kill him and his seven-year-old daughter if he didn't co-operate.