Byrne trial shown files on stamp duty payments

The €52m theft and fraud trial of ex-solicitor Thomas Byrne has been shown files showing he paid stamp duty on multiple properties he allegedly fraudulently took possession of.

Mr Byrne, aged 47, of Walkinstown Rd, Crumlin, is accused of theft and fraud offences totalling €51.8m. Most of the counts allege he transferred clients’ homes into his name and used them as collateral for loans.

He has pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to 51 counts of theft, forgery, using forged documents, and deception between 2004 and 2007.

Yesterday heard technical evidence concerning the payment of stamp duty.

The jury has heard from homeowners and property dealers who claim Mr Byrne transferred their properties into his name using forged signatures.

The trial is entering a phase which is expected to focus on how Mr Byrne allegedly used these properties as security for loans. Some properties were allegedly used as collateral multiple times with different banks according to Remy Farrell SC, prosecuting.

Conor Daly, who was head of commercial risk at EBS Building Society, outlined to the jury the process of applying for and receiving commercial loans. He said EBS had 15,000 commercial loan customers at the time.

Officials from the National Stamp Duty Office and Land Registry gave accounts of how stamp duty is paid and properties registered.

Emma Clutterbuck told Mr Farrell that Mr Byrne paid stamp duty on several properties which form part of the allegations against him. She said in several cases late fees were also imposed against Mr Byrne because of delays in duty payment.

The trial continues.

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