The ex-solicitors who swindled the banks: Timeline

The ex-solicitors who swindled the banks: Timeline

Former solicitors Keith Flynn and Lyndsey Clarke at Cork District Court. Picture: Cork Courts Limited

2006: Keith Flynn, from Ballintemple in Cork, forms Keith Flynn and Co Solicitors, having earlier qualified from the University of London. The first office is in Cork.

2012: Dublin office of the firm opens at Capel Buildings.

2014: Lyndsey Clarke runs as a local election candidate in Cork City for Fine Gael but is not elected. She also becomes a partner in the law firm, having joined a few years previously.

2015 and 2016: In these years what is later described in court as a "chaotic" legal practice sees the first issues appear which will ultimately lead to the couple's professional suspension – failing to keep proper books of accounts.

November 15, 2016: The first bogus bank account using a false identity is opened by Lyndsey Clarke with a branch of Ulster Bank in Dublin.

November 21, 2016: The law firm ceases practising, with a client deficit of €80,000. Professional breaches of regulations will later be traced back to August 2016 and the months of October and November 2016. They are suspended in late 2016.

December 7, 2016: The second bank account using false identities is opened, again in Dublin, again by Clarke, this time with a branch of AIB.

December 13, 2016: The court will later hear that Keith Flynn was declared bankrupt. Stubbs Gazette told the Irish Examiner it has no record of a bankruptcy judgment against Flynn. It does have a record in which the Collector General is the plaintiff, from December 13, 2016, and the sum owed was €9,183.24.

December 16, 2016: The third bank account using a false identity is opened, again by Clarke, this time with a different Ulster bank branch in Dublin.

January 16, 2017: According to the courts.ie website, a bankruptcy judgement is discharged against Keith Flynn. The previous month, according to Stubbs Gazette, there was a judgement against him in which the Collector General was the Plaintiff, but for just €9,183.24.

September 2017: Alan Boland of Bank of Ireland's group financial crime unit notices a pattern common to six seemingly unconnected and recently opened accounts. It will later transpire that this is a spelling mistake in a downloaded template of a Virgin Media utility bill. Gardaí in Anglesea Street in Cork are contacted and Detective Garda Alan McCarthy and his colleagues begin working on the case.

April 2018: The Law Society passes on concerns it has about the unrelated issues for which it had suspended the couple in late 2016 to gardaí at the Bridewell Station in Dublin.

June 26, 2018: Gardaí investigating the couple's activities search Keith Flynn's rented apartment in Sunday's Well in Cork City. Among the items found are false driving licences, 31 phone SIM cards, bank cards, wigs, €92,300 in cash and a shredder.

July 12, 2018: Flynn and Clarke appear before the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal and are both found guilty of misconduct.

October 22, 2018: The couple are struck off at the High Court October 2020: After a lengthy period during which time a file is prepared for the DPP and charges preferred, the couple appears before Cork Circuit Court, having earlier appeared before the District Court, with a guilty plea entered. The full scale of the fraud is outlined in court.

February 22: Keith Flynn is sentenced to four years in prison, backdated to when he first went into custody last October, while Lyndsey Clarke receives a two-year jail term.

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