Solicitor's €52m fraud trial told defence is 'preposterous'

Solicitor's €52m fraud trial told defence is 'preposterous'

The prosecution in the €52m theft and fraud trial of ex-solicitor Thomas Byrne said it hasn’t "a foggiest" where some of the money went.

The jury is today hearing closing speeches in the case of the 47-year-old of Mountjoy Square who is accused of repeatedly using his client’s properties as collateral on bank loans.

The prosecution has asked the jury to consider if Thomas Byrne is "the unluckiest man in Ireland".

11 former clients -some of them friends –spontaneously and independently denied his claim that they had either sold their properties to the former solicitor or that they had agreed to transfer the properties into his name so he could borrow large sums of money.

If he defaults on the loan, they have signed away their house.

Barrister Remy Farrell said it is "preposterous, bizarre and absurd" that a lawyer would not have put these "weird" transactions in writing.

He has told the jury Mr Byrne’s defence is that the "dog ate his homework, not once, twice but ten times over ".

Byrne was characterised by the prosecution as an out-and-out gambler who did not throw in the towel when the stakes go higher.

Barrister Remy Farrell told the jury that as the former solicitor got deeper and deeper into debt his solution was to tell more lies and borrow more money.

He also said the claim that Byrne intended to pay back the loans was "utter cloud cuckoo nonsense" but also irrelevant, because it is alleged the money was obtained by deception and fraud.

The defence will give its final address to the jury this afternoon.


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