Prosecution lawyers have claimed that former solicitor, Michael Lynn has told a jury at the circuit criminal court, a "fabricated pack of lies".

The trial of Mr Lynn, who denies stealing almost €30 million from seven financial institutions is hearing closing speeches today from both sides.

Mr Lynn claimed in the witness box that he had secret deals with bankers who allowed him to take out mortgages on properties in Ireland and use the money to fund property development abroad.

Multiple mortgages on same properties

He also claimed the banks were aware he had multiple mortgages on the same properties and knew what he was doing with the money. And he alleged some bankers got money or other benefits from him.

Prosecuting counsel, Patrick McGrath told the jury that Mr Lynn's defence suddenly emerged out of the blue, as a "surprise", just two weeks ago, towards the end of a trial which began in early February.

He told them a key part of their consideration would be the credibility of Mr Lynn's account.

Mr McGrath said the jurors would be told by the judge that if they thought what Mr Lynn said might reasonably be true then he was entitled to be acquitted. But he said the prosecution would try to persuade them that they could not attach a shred of credibility to what he said.

'Secret deals'

He said that Mr Lynn had never made anyone aware of the "secret deals" he was now alleging. He had avoided being interviewed by gardai for years. Instead he fled to Brazil and fought extradition, tooth and nail. He had tried to divert blame but the only person to blame, Mr McGrath said, was the person sitting in the dock, who refused to take ownership of the fact that he stole this money in 2007.

Mr McGrath said there had been repeated attempts by Mr Lynn to avoid being interviewed by gardaí while he lived in Portugal. He went off to Brazil without telling anyone and languished in a Brazilian jail.

He said it was preposterous to suggest that he could not have decided at any stage to come back and face the charges. And he had continued resisting extradition even after the order was made. Even when he came back , he had not once raised the issue of the secret deals with bankers and the possibility that there were emails which might prove these deals existed.

Offence of theft

Mr McGrath said the offence of theft covered a multitude of dishonest actions and it was "fantastical" to suggest that the banks would have lent money on properties with no apparent way of getting their money back, with no security at all, knowing there were multiple mortgages on them. It made absolutely no sense.

Mr Lynn was not a "simple man" at sea in the courts – he was a long qualified, experienced solicitor and clearly a very clever man, Mr McGrath said. He said he had been involved in property development on a substantial scale and had made a considerable amount of money.

Mr McGrath said the undertakings system was a key part of how Mr Lynn managed to defraud the banks. Banks lent money based on undertakings signed by solicitors that they would register a charge on the properties. Mr McGrath said this system was perhaps naïve and Mr Lynn saw a gap he could exploit.

Mr McGrath said it was irrelevant why this happened or what happened to the money. But he said there had been some evidence in the case that perhaps explained it.

Overseas property investments

He suggested that Mr Lynn’s property investments overseas expanded massively and grew out of control in 2006 and 2007. In Hungary for example, there were great opportunities in a relatively new market, but Mr Lynn had no source for finance in Hungary as he could not get money from the banks there to get into these big developments and to make a fortune.

Mr McGrath suggested that he had siphoned money off from the Irish banks, exploiting a weakness in the undertaking system and getting multiple mortgages on properties, unbeknownst to anyone else.

Mr McGrath said the money might have been used to fund developments abroad, and maybe Mr Lynn had some notion that at some time he would pay it back.

'Ponzi scheme'

He told the jurors that they might see it as some form of ponzi scheme - that if all his ducks lined up, Mr Lynn thought the show might still keep going. But Mr McGrath said that did not excuse what Mr Lynn had done and was no defence.

He said Mr Lynn had directed an employee to forge statements of affairs for the banks. He said the statements were fundamentally misleading, always in a way that favoured Mr Lynn. This was, he said, part and parcel of the web of deceit he was spinning.

Mr McGrath said Mr Lynn had tried to divert blame to people who did not stand to benefit from these actions. He had deliberately misrepresented the value of his assets. The statements of affairs were deceitful and he was actively involved in their preparation and they were part of the tissue of deceit, confusion, lies and the attempt to pull the wool over the jurors eyes.

Mr McGrath said there was no suggestion solicitor, Fiona McAleenan and employee, Liz Doyle who gave evidence in the trial, benefitted in any way from the alleged secret deals.

'Blacken character of other people'

He said Mr Lynn did not have the courage to have these allegations put to them when they were in the witness box. Instead he had sought to blacken the character of other people to save his own skin.

Mr McGrath said the jury could be satisfied that Mr Lynn’s suggestion that he had somehow been disadvantaged in the trial and was not able to advance the defence he wanted to, could be cast aside.

Mr Lynn he said was a past master in creating confusion and imaginary difficulties. Everything the prosecution had been disclosed to the defence and Mr Lynn had been represented by some of the best criminal lawyers in the country.

A suggestion that a third email server containing emails proving the existence of the "secret deals" was out there somewhere was a "big, fat lie".

'Pure and simple'
Mr McGrath said this was a straightforward, simple case of greed and theft.

Mr Lynn obtained money as a result of deliberate false misrepresentations to the banks, he said.

He did not have consent and stole the money "pure and simple", he added.

He told the jury Mr Lynn had tried to blame the world and his wife for what had happened.

However, he said it was simple and the banks did not collude in secret deals, senior bankers were not taking bribes.

The witnesses who came to court to rebut Mr Lynn’s evidence were telling the truth he said.

Laywer for Mr Lynn addresses jury

In his address to the jury, defence counsel Paul Comiskey O’Keeffe told them the decisions they made would affect Mr Lynn’s life and his children’s lives.

The jurors would not be able to come back and change the votes they had cast in five years time, he said.

He said hey would have to live with it always, as would Mr Lynn.

He said juries brought their life experiences to trial and one particular part of their life experience that the defence wanted them to bring to this case was what they knew about banking practices in 2006 and 2007.

He said the evidence in the case had been affected by the inadequacy of the documentation provided by the institutions to the gardaí.

He said that unfairness began right at the beginning when the garda investigation began.

He told the jury there were contradictions between bank documents and witnesses from the banks.

Mr Comiskey O’Keeffe said Mr Lynn had not broken any laws when he left Ireland or when he left Portugal for Brazil.

The court had not heard any evidence from gardaí about their efforts to interview him.

He said it was also not the case that Mr Lynn had no overseas financing as the jury had heard evidence of a €24 million loan available to him in Portugal, albeit very late in the day.

He reminded the jurors that Brian Fitzgibbon of Irish Nationwide Building Society had confirmed that the head of INBS Michael Fingleton had powers to do things that were not in documentation.

He said the documentation in the case did not reflect the entirety of the relationship between Mr Lynn and the institutions.

Mr Fitzgibbon had given evidence that Mr Fingleton had tried to scapegoat him in relation to the loan to Mr Lynn.

Mr Comiskey O’Keeffe asked why Mr Fingleton would try to distance himself from the loan if everything was in order.

He said not one financial institution involved in the case had issued any letter of demand to Mr Lynn to comply with an undertaking or to register a mortgage.

He will continue his speech to the jury tomorrow morning.

Judge Martin Nolan will then address them, after which they will begin considering their verdicts.