Two former solicitors - one of whom stood as a Fine Gael local election candidate - have been charged with conspiring to defraud several financial institutions.
Keith Flynn, 46, with an address at Blarney St in Cork city, and Lyndsey Clarke, 37, of the same address, appeared before Cork District Court on Wednesday morning where they faced a single charge each - that they conspired with each other between dates in 2016 and in 2018 to defraud a number of named banks and financial institutions.
Judge Olann Kelleher remanded both accused on bail for the service of the book of evidence on September 2.
Mr Flynn and Ms Clarke sat next to each other in court room one when their cases were called. The hearing lasted a matter of minutes.
Ms Clarke faces a single charge - that between January 1, 2016 and June 26, 2018, and both dates inclusive, within the state, she did conspire with one Keith Flynn to defraud AIB, Bank of Ireland, Ulster Bank and other financial institutions by creating false identities to be used for the purpose of obtaining credit dishonestly from the said institutions for the purpose of, and with the effect of, causing financial loss to those said institutions.
Mr Flynn faces a similar charge - that he did conspire with one Lyndsey Clarke between the same dates to defraud AIB, Bank of Ireland, Ulster Bank and other financial institutions by creating false identities to be used for the purpose of obtaining credit dishonestly from the said institutions for the purpose and with the effect of causing financial loss to those said institutions.
Garda Sergeant Gearoid Davis told Judge Kelleher that the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has directed that the matters be sent forward for trial on indictment at Cork Circuit Criminal Court or, if the defendants so choose, that the matters be dealt with on a signed plea of guilty.
Solicitor Graham Hyde, who is representing both accused, told the court that Ms Clarke was on a back to work scheme earning €217 a week and was a mother of two children.
He applied for and was granted free legal aid for his client.
He told the court that Mr Flynn was working as a chef, earning around €500 a week, and was fully supporting four children.
He also applied for, and was also granted free legal aid for Mr Flynn.
Mr Flynn, who was admitted to the roll of solicitors in 2006, ran a legal practice in Dublin until it closed in 2016.
Ms Clarke was admitted to the roll in December 2012 and stood for Fine Gael in the Cork North-Central ward in the 2014 local elections.