Solicitor is facing multiple charges of theft and fraud
hundreds of thousands of euro involved in macroom-based case
A FORMER Mid-Cork solicitor has been remanded on bail after he was charged with a number of theft and fraud offences including the theft of over €250,000 from clients over a four year period.
Mark Cronin (39) with an address at New Street, Macroom, appeared at Bandon District Court last Friday where he was charged with a total of nine theft and fraud offences.
Det Garda Tom O'Sullivan gave evidence of arrest, charge and caution and told the court that Cronin made no reply to any of the charges when they were put to him after caution.
Cronin was charged with three counts of stealing sums of €30,000, €40,000 and €100,000 from Maurice and Rosemary McCarthy at South Square, Macroom on various dates in 2011 and 2012.
He was also charged with a count of stealing a sum of €79,364.48 from Sean O'Sullivan, also at his office at South Square, Macroom on a date between January 25, 2011 and January 19, 2012.
Cronin was also charged with stealing €24,220 from Eric Graham at his office at Cronin's Solicitors, South Square, Macroom on a date between July 1, 2009 and December 15, 2013.
All five theft charges brought against Cronin are contrary to Section 4 of the Criminal Justice (Theft and Fraud) Act 2011 and involve a total sum of €273,854, the court heard.
Cronin was also charged with two counts of theft by deception contrary to Section 6 of the Criminal Justice (Theft and Fraud Offences Act) 2011.
These included a charge that on September 28, 2010 he dishonestly by deception induced Seamus Doody to accept a cheque when he was aware there were insufficient funds in an account.
And they also included a charge that on December 7, 2012, he dishonestly by deception induced Sean O'Sullivan to lodge €48,500 into a bank account for a firm he knew was no longer in business.
Cronin was also charged with two counts of using false documentation contrary to Section 25 of the Criminal Justice (Theft and Fraud Offences Act) 2011.
These included that he photocopied an AIB bank draft for €223,500 and he altered it to read €323,500 and that he faxed it to Doody Solicitors and induced them to accept it as genuine.
These also included that he photocopied a bank draft for €121,851.13 and altered it to read €221,853.13 and faxed it to Colm Houlihan with the intention of inducing him to accept it as genuine
Insp Jerry Lacey said gardai had no objection to bail once certain conditions were met and he indicated that the case would be going forward to Cork Circuit Criminal Court at a later date.
Judge James McNulty remanded Cronin on his own bond of €10,000 to appear again at Macroom District Court on March 4 for service of the book of evidence.
He made it a condition of Cronin's bail that he sign on at the Bridewell Garda Station in Dublin twice weekly and that he surrender his passport to An Garda Siochana.