The jury in the multimillion-euro theft trial of former solicitor Michael Lynn has been discharged after failing to reach a verdict.
Following more than 12 hours of deliberations in the wake of the 3½ month trial, the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court was told on Wednesday that the panel had been unable to come to a majority verdict.
Mr Lynn (53), of Millbrook Court, Red Cross, Co Wicklow, had pleaded not guilty to 21 counts of theft of some €27 million in Dublin between October 23rd, 2006 and April 20th, 2007, when he was working as a solicitor and property developer.
It was the prosecution case that Mr Lynn obtained multiple mortgages on the same properties in a situation where banks were unaware that other institutions were also providing finance. These properties included ‘Glenlion’ – Mr Lynn’s €5.5 million home in Howth – and multiple investment properties.
The financial institutions involved were Bank of Ireland, National Irish Bank (later known as Danske Bank), Irish Life and Permanent, Ulster Bank, ACC Bank, Bank of Scotland Ireland Ltd and Irish Nationwide Building Society.
Mr Lynn took the stand for nine days and told his trial that the banks were aware he had multiple loans on the same properties and that this was “custom and practice” among bankers in Celtic Tiger Ireland.
He said he had “secret deals” with a number of bankers, who gave him permission to use the loan money for his property developments abroad. He told the court that he and former Irish Nationwide chief executive Michael Fingleton were involved in a secret profit share agreement in relation to a property development in Portugal.
Counsel for Mr Lynn told the jury that if more bankers had acted prudently back in 2007 “maybe more of them would be in business today”.
However, the prosecution argued that Mr Lynn had tried to divert blame for what had happened on to the courts, senior bankers including the late Sean FitzPatrick, the Brazilian and Irish authorities and “the world and his wife” but not himself.
The jury told Judge Martin Nolan they would not be able to reach a verdict if given more time and he said he had no other option but to discharge the members, who he thanked for their service. Mr Lynn made no reaction when the jury said it was unable to reach a verdict.
Prosecution counsel asked for a mention date in the next court term in order to get directions from the Director of Public Prosecutions. Judge Nolan adjourned the matter until June 20th and remanded Mr Lynn on continuing bail until then.