THE solicitor at the centre of a €26m mortgage probe has close business links to a string of famous Irish and international sports personalities.
Michael Lynn used them to promote his foreign property portfolio – a large proportion of which he is believed to have re-mortgaged to help fund other investments. While most of the personalities are Irish, there are a few European soccer stars who have said they plan to invest in development sites Lynn – who is said to have recently splashed out more than €5m on a house in Howth – is involved with.
Neighbours at Lynn’s €1.3m Dublin home saw a removals van pull up outside the property last Thursday and neither he or his wife Brid have been seen there for at least a week.
Lynn, 38, who celebrated his wedding in Dromoland Castle last year, has had a freezing order issued against him. It forbids the solicitor – whose companies include Kendar Holdings Ltd and Kendar Global Properties Ltd – from accessing any funds he holds on behalf of his law firm’s clients.
The High Court order, which was obtained by the Law Society of Ireland, was made after investigators from four major banks uncovered irregularities in a string of mortgages he took out.
It is claimed that he took out a number of different mortgages on properties with separate banks and the Law Society of Ireland’s own regulation to practice committee investigation into Lynn’s handling of his legal practices’ clients funds has uncovered ‘acts of dishonesty’.
The extent of some of his main Irish property interests is revealed in the firm Proper T Capel Ltd, he and wife Bridget, who is in her early thirties, are directors of.
The Dublin-based company has a total of 31 charges registered against it – all of which were either created or registered on dates between March and August of this year.
They relate to properties or land in Dublin and County Kildare and were agreed with Anglo Irish Bank Corporation Plc and Bank of Scotland (Ireland) Ltd.
Ulster Bank Ireland Ltd has two charges registered between 2003 and 2004 against another of the solicitor’s firms while another relating to property in County Meath is also held by Anglo Irish Bank Corporation PLC on yet another of the solicitor’s many companies.
Lynn is a leading player in the international property market and is linked to at least two websites which present a variety of property sales and investment opportunities in Portugal, Budapest, Bulgaria and Slovakia.
One of the sites offers information ‘of a general nature’ about investing abroad. Friends and neighbours last night reacted with shock at what he is being linked to.
A man who has known him for more than 15 years and who is a director of one of his companies said last night: ‘I knew he was into property and I always assumed he was wealthy enough to retire. He wasn’t flashy or anything like that. In fact, he drove around in a second-hand Merc whenever I saw him.
‘We met through his interest in music and I always found him to be a really decent guy.’
He added: ‘I got the impression of him that he worked and played hard, although he probably worked harder than he played. He was never short of a girlfriend and I do always remember him working very long hours.’
A neighbour near Lynn’s Dublin house – where the blinds have been drawn across each window since last Thursday – said: ‘I hardly ever saw him or his wife. They were just never around – always abroad or elsewhere. The last time I saw him was two weeks ago.
‘He was his usual polite self and just waved and said hello as he always does on the few occasions when I see him.’
Another neighbour added: ‘As far as I know he left on Thursday. I didn’t see him myself but a removals van pulled up outside the house and men loaded various boxes and bits of furniture onto it before driving off.’
A hearing in the banks’ case against the solicitor and the Law Society’s move against him was held at the High Court in Dublin yesterday.
At it, Lynn agreed not to practice without first getting permission from the court.
His solicitor Giles Kennedy was unavailable for comment on his behalf.