Wednesday 21 February 2018

Lynn made frantic bid to save property empire

Dearbhail McDonald Legal Affairs Editor

FUGITIVE solicitor Michael Lynn was frantically taking deposits from small-time investors, including close relatives, as his property and legal empire collapsed, according to documents obtained by the Irish Independent.

In the weeks before his law practice was shut down in October 2007, Mr Lynn, pictured, – who is being detained in a Brazilian prison as he prepares to fight extradition to Ireland – was trying to shore up sales for phase two of Costa de Cabanas, his Portuguese apartment project.

Some investors had ploughed as much as €250,000 to secure apartments in phase two of Cabanas, according to a "diagnostic report" carried out in late August 2007 for Mr Lynn's Kendar Global Properties.

More than €4.5m was received in deposits and sales for the building which is now rotting.

Investors, whom Mr Lynn dubbed "buckaleiros", came from Tulla in Co Clare – where Mr Lynn married his wife Brid Murphy – and from parishes in Laois, Kildare, Kilkenny and Westmeath, amongst others.

Gaelic football players from the Republic and the North also lost also money they invested with Mr Lynn.

Following a landmark bid to extradite an Irish citizen from Brazil, the Irish authorities are now expected to ask the Brazilian courts to freeze any assets Mr Lynn has there.

Earlier this week it emerged that he was attempting to strike fresh property deals in Brazil despite being wanted for a suspected €80m mortgage fraud in Ireland. The revelation 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 last two years in Jaboatao dos Guararapes, near Recife, Pernambuco.

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 sale and rental business, with capital of R$1,800,000 (€574,720).

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

Mr Lynn is also said to have tried to do a deal involving industrial units in the town of Cabo de Santo Agostinho just south of his home near the city of Recife in the state of Pernambuco in north-east Brazil.

Mark Astle, Mr 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."

dearbhail mcdonald

Irish Independent

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