THE DUBLIN solicitor at the centre of a Law Society and €9m IIB loan investigation has ‘gone missing’. The bank has made several attempts to contact Thomas Byrne, 41, over a loan they gave him in September.
The Bank of Scotland say they also have issued ‘several mortgages’ to Byrne, whose Walkinstown Road practice was closed by the Law Society after an audit was carried out into the firm’s accounts. IIB’s SC told the High Court this morning that the bank was now seeking an order to force the Walkinstown Road branch of National Irish Bank to disclose details of Byrne’s accounts from September 7 – when their loan cheque was cashed – and last Monday’s freezing order.
University College Dublin-educated Byrne, who qualified as a solicitor in 1991, used 20 properties as security for his loan but – the court heard – at least 12 of these had already been mortgaged with other banks or building societies. The last time he was in contact with IIB was when he promised to fax by last Friday a letter to IIB showing that an Anglo Irish Bank Corporation loan had been discharged.
The letter – according to the bank – never arrived.And despite agreeing to be present when the Law Society audited his accounts on Monday – after a call from IIB – he also failed to turn up.
As a result, his client files were removed ‘for safe-keeping’ and the offices shut.The High Court has also been told that at least one of the properties registered in his name is mortgaged by two of his clients.