Tuesday 16 January 2018

Law chief dismisses 'whining paranoia' of on-the-run Lynn

Michael Lynn
Michael Lynn

Cormac McQuinn and Dearbhail McDonald

THE director general of the Law Society has hit out at a "whining" interview given by on-the-run solicitor Michael Lynn.

Mr Lynn has spoken of how he won't be returning to Ireland from his haven in Brazil, due to concerns that he wouldn't receive a fair trial and his fear of going to prison.

And the fugitive ex-solicitor and property investor spoke of how banks were throwing money at him during the boom.

But the interview with the rogue solicitor should be taken with "an entire cellar of salt", according to the Law Society.

Law Society director general Ken Murphy dubbed the fugitive's words as "self-justifications, paranoia, fantasising and whining".

Mr Lynn spoke to the new 'Dublin's Best' magazine in an interview conducted by another struck-off solicitor, David Elio Malocco.

In the 1990s, Mr Malocco was sentenced to five years in prison for fraud committed while he was working for the now defunct 'Irish Press' newspaper. He used money from his employer's libel fund to cover losses he incurred on investments.

In the interview, Mr Lynn said that while he was involved in developing properties in Portugal and Bulgaria through his firm Kendar, "banks were competing with each other to throw money at you".

He said: "In one weekend I raised €10m on the strength of a letter. The feeling was one of euphoria. It was better than sex. Property development was the ultimate high."

Mr Lynn fled the country in December 2007, owing more than €80m to investors.

He is believed to be facing up to 50 charges relating to mortgage fraud, but cannot be extradited from Brazil, where he has secured a permanent visa after his wife, Brid Murphy, gave birth to his son there.

In the interview, Mr Lynn explains how he tried to stay in business and claims that he tried to protect his clients investments, saying: "In order to secure people's deposits, I continued to borrow and put in my own money – money I made from profits from previous transactions – to ensure the small investor didn't lose any money."

He said he would not be returning to Ireland "in the foreseeable future" adding: "There is not a chance in hell I would get a fair trial. I am already a condemned man."

'Dishonesty'

Asked about the €2m fine imposed when he was struck off the Law Society register of solicitors, Mr Lynn said he hadn't paid it.

Mr Murphy responded to the interview, telling the Irish Independent: "This is an article written by an individual who was struck off for dishonesty about another individual who was also struck off the roll of solicitors for dishonesty. Its contents should be viewed in this light."

He continued: "Mr Lynn's angry attacks on the Law Society, self-justifications, paranoia, fantasising and whining should be taken by readers with not just a grain – but an entire cellar – of salt."

He pointed out that the High Court imposed the €2m unpaid fine and said that the Law Society was also owed €2.5m more than its compensation fund has paid to clients "who were victims of his dishonesty".

Mr Murphy added: "There are many victims of Mr Lynn's activities. Despite his reported self-pity, Michael Lynn is not one of them. He should return to Ireland and face the consequences of his actions."

Mr Malocco did not respond to attempts to contact him last night.

Irish Independent

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