Ex-solicitor admits theft and fraud

A former solicitor pleaded guilty yesterday to theft, fraud and forgery charges amounting to more than €300,000.

Sentencing was adjourned for the accused to continue to attend a psychiatrist.

Mark Cronin, aged 40, of New Street, Macroom, Co Cork, was yesterday arraigned at Cork Circuit Criminal Court where he pleaded guilty to eight charges.

Marjorie Farrelly, defending, said Cronin had no previous convictions and she applied for an adjournment of sentencing for a psychiatric report and a probation report.

Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin put sentencing back to November 23 and said legal aid would be extended to a psychiatric report if one was available on that date.

The judge also directed the probation service to give priority to the preparation of a report on the accused prior to sentencing.

Ms Farrelly said the defendant had gone to college, worked in bars for a couple of years, went to Blackhall Place in Dublin to qualify as a solicitor, worked for a year or two with another solicitor and then set up his own practice.

“Practicing on his own these offences happened when things fell apart for him,” Ms Farrelly said.

Among the charges, Cronin pleaded guilty to the theft of €24,000 in cash belonging to another person at Cronin Solicitors, The Square, Macroom, between July 2009 and December 2013.

He admitted deception where he sent a cheque valued €100,000 to a solicitor in Cork in September 2010. In respect of the same injured party he admitted forgery where he altered a bank draft reading €223,500 to read €333,500 to the prejudice of another person in September 2010.

He admitted deception where he induced another person to lodge €48,500 into a Vat account with the intention of making a gain for himself.


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