A jury heard that former barrister Michael Lynn applied for a €1.388 million loan from the National Irish Bank in 2007 to fund four investment properties in Dublin city.
Mr Lynn (53) faces 21 charges relating to the alleged theft of around €27 million from seven financial institutions, the trial heard. He denies all the charges against him.
The financial institutions concerned are Bank of Ireland Mortgages Bank Ltd, Danske Bank, Irish Life and Permanent, Ulster Bank, ACC Bank PLC, Bank of Scotland Ireland Ltd and Irish Nationwide Building Society.
Mr Lynn of Millbrook Court, Red Cross, Co. Wicklow, pleaded not guilty to 21 counts of theft in Dublin between October 23, 2006 and April 20, 2007.
According to the prosecution, Mr Lynn obtained several mortgages on the same properties in a situation where the banks were unaware that other institutions were also providing financing.
Testifying on Wednesday, Noel McCole told John Berry BL, prosecuting, that he was a merchant banking manager for National Irish Bank, later Danske Bank Ireland, from 2000 to 2010. Mr McCole said he had already got to know Mr. Lynn, through his work as a branch manager at the bank in Blanchardstown.
He said that on December 21, 2006, he was contacted by Mr. Lynn’s assistant via email for information about the bank’s products and criteria. This email was then followed by a request for funding on behalf of Mr Lynn for the purchase of four apartments in Dublin.
The buildings were qualified as “residential leases” and had a total purchase price of 1.672 million euros. The loan was requested on the basis that the apartments would be “investment properties”.
A letter was then received on February 6, 2007, detailing the four apartments and their addresses and stating that Mr Lynn needed 85% financing if possible. Mr McCole said a colleague of his filed a credit application on the bank’s internal system and confirmed that document on a screen shown to the court and jury.
He agreed that it was an internal document stating that the financing requested was €1,338,160 in the form of a variable rate business loan, representing 80% of the total purchase price. Mr McCole agreed with Mr Berry that the bank needed to see ‘such things’ as accounts before the loan could be approved.
He further agreed that the loan application stated that the purpose of the loan was to provide “quality rental accommodation” and included a personal history on Mr Lynn. Mr McCole agreed that the bank had been told that in December 2006 a balance sheet concluded that Mr Lynn’s net worth was 9 million euros.
He said a number of conditions were attached to the loan, such as the requirement to insure the properties taking into account the bank’s interest in them, that the properties had a minimum value of 1.672 million euros and that there would be evidence of “equity” to be provided to bridge the 20% gap between the loan amount and the purchase price.
Mr McCole told the solicitor that the bank wanted to know Mr Lynn’s financial situation not only at the time of applying for the finance, but also, if the loan was successful, on an annual basis.
He agreed that a number of searches had been done on both Mr. Lynn’s company and himself personally in addition to a “credit bureau search” and nothing of concern was found. been found. Mr. McCole will continue his direct testimony Thursday before Judge Martin Nolan and a jury.
Earlier in the trial, Jim Madden, former senior commercial director of the Bank of Ireland, told Patrick McGrath SC, continuing (along with Mr Berry) that his duties involved being a relationship manager, meaning that in As part of his role, he met potential clients, but the authority to approve loans rested with the group credit section within the bank.
Mr Madden said he was introduced to Mr Lynn by a manager of the Bank of Ireland branch at Smithfield in Dublin city center in 2005. He said he had an affair with Mr Lynn around September 2006 at following a request for financing for the purchase of eight investment properties.
The court has already heard that Mr Lynn received a check for €2,742,000 from Bank of Ireland Mortgages for the purchase of eight properties in County Dublin in December 2006.
Mr Madden said a mortgage offer containing terms and conditions had been issued to Mr Lynn. He said that by signing this loan offer, Mr. Lynn agreed to the terms and conditions under which the bank offered the loan.
He said that after the offered loan was received and signed by Mr. Lynn, that effectively concludes his involvement in that loan.
Mr Madden agreed with Feargal Kavanagh SC, defending that he had met Mr Lynn “at least twice” and that one of those occasions was in “an unprofessional environment”.
He said it was in the reception area of a building and he greeted Mr Lynn but added that he did not recall having had a conversation with him.
Mr Madden categorically denied telling Mr Lynn at the time that ‘all the banks collectively felt they had no choice but to act against him’.
“100% I didn’t say that,” Mr Madden replied.