Former solicitor accused of fraud received €4.6m in loans from Anglo

The trial of former solicitor Thomas Byrne has heard Anglo Irish Bank relied on the former solicitor to provide proof that he was using valid properties as collateral on €4.6m in loans.

Former solicitor accused of fraud received €4.6m in loans from Anglo

The trial of former solicitor Thomas Byrne has heard Anglo Irish Bank relied on the former solicitor to provide proof that he was using valid properties as collateral on €4.6m in loans.

The jury were told Mr Byrne applied for and received over €4.6m in loans from the now defunct Anglo Irish Bank.

The accused received a €3.2 m loan from the bank as a first time customer in 2006 by using 13 properties as collateral.

He claimed he owned the properties and that they did not have any other loans outstanding against them.

A further €1.46m was granted a year later using 19 properties as security.

The court heard that it was up to Mr Byrne to verify that he owned the properties and to provide details of their registration.

Anglo hired a lawyer, Andrew Crean Lynch, to handle the verification process but he did not investigate the accused’s assertions.

Mr Byrne (aged 47) of Walkinstown Road, Crumlin is accused of theft and fraud offences totalling €51.8m.

The charges allege he transferred clients’ homes into his name and then used them as collateral for property 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.

The former head of fraud prevention with the bank, Patrick Beak, told the court that Anglo used Mr Lynch to handle the verification process before the loans were issued.

In applying for the first loan, the accused told the bank that he possessed 13 properties which were “unencumbered” with other loans.

The €3.2m loan was for buying land in Shankill and Walkinstown.

Mr Byrne provided the registration details of these properties to Mr Lynch and the matter was not investigated further, Mr Beak said.

The court heard that supplying details of property registration would usually be handled by the borrower’s solicitor but that in this case Mr Byrne was acting as his own solicitor.

The loan process was completed and a cheque for the full amount was issued to Mr Byrne on May 16, 2006.

A similar process occurred when the accused applied for and received a €1.46m loan to buy six properties in Dublin 22.

These houses plus the 13 properties already outlined to the bank were to be used as collateral.

Mr Beak told the jury that Mr Byrne made repayments on the loans until October 2007.

At this point Anglo appointed a receiver to take possession of and sell some of the properties.

The trial continues before Judge Patrick McCartan and a jury of seven men and five women.

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