Solicitor avoids jail for mortgage fraud

A Carlow solicitor, who took out a fraudulent mortgage after his father’s law firm got into trouble with the Law Society, has avoided a prison sentence.

Declan McEvoy, aged 50, was principal at the criminal law firm, William Early Solicitors, in Carlow town, when his father’s firm, JM McEvoy in Gorey, was being investigated. His father had also previously been state solicitor in the Wexford town.

The Law Society allowed Mr McEvoy Sr to retire from the firm on the condition his son took it over. Declan McEvoy later used the €297,000 he fraudulently obtained from AIB in order to clear debts in his father’s firm.

McEvoy, who now has an address, in Melbourne, Australia, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to dishonestly obtaining a mortgage with AIB for €297,000 on dates between May 5, 2009, and July 20, 2009.

Judge Melanie Greally yesterday said McEvoy had brought disgrace upon himself and his position as a solicitor was an aggravating factor as it involved a breach of trust. She said such cases would typically warrant a jail term “in the public interest” but McEvoy’s “exceptional” mitigation meant she could impose a suspended sentence.

She noted the “extreme financial pressure” he was under before imposing an 18-month suspended sentence.

  • Former solicitor William Early has had no involvement with William Early & Co Solicitors since he sold the firm to Declan McEvoy in 1994.


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