Irish lawyer Michael Lynn has been arrested in Brazil and is scheduled to appear before the High Court there as part of the first step in the State’s efforts to secure his extradition to Ireland.
According to the Irish Times, the 44-year-old Irishman has been living in Brazil and was granted permanent residency there last year after the birth of his son.
Since there is no extradition treaty between Brazil and Ireland the Dublin-based lawyer from County Mayo is reportedly beyond the reach of the law in Ireland.
But now a new bilateral agreement has been agreed to between the Brazilian and Irish authorities, allowing the latter to send an extradition request for Lynn to Brazil, which has now led to his arrest.
Lynn was reportedly living openly in Brazil in the state of Pernambuco, where he was recently arrested in what was effectively the first step in the Irish State’s efforts to bring him before the courts at home.
If successful it is expected that Lynn will be charged with a number of criminal offenses relating to his business dealings, including allegations that he used fraudulent paperwork to secure mortgages.
While an arrest warrant has been active for him since 2007, it related to the Irish High Court’s efforts to compel him to attend the court and deal with the civil matters relating to his alleged $105 million in property dealings as they began to unfold.
Despite leaving Ireland, the fall-out from Lynn’s failed business dealings has reportedly continued in the courts, for both his and his client’s assets. And the Irish Police Bureau of Fraud Investigation has continued to investgate him.
It is not yet clear exactly what Lynn has been arrested for by the Brazilian authorities, the Times reports, although details are expected to emerge when he appears before the High Court in Brazil.
Originally from Crossmolina, County Mayo, the Irish High Court was reportedly dealing with his failed enterprises (including liabilities of up to $105 million) when he fled the country.
The Irish Law Society first reported complaints against him to the police in October 2007. Having practiced in Capel Street in Dublin’s north inner city, he was struck off by the president of the high court in 2008 and was fined over $1 million dollars.
Lynn was reportedly living in Portugal and Hungary for a time, but because there were no criminal charges approved for him in Ireland, he could not be extradited.
Some of his clients claim they gave money to him to complete transactions on their behalf, which they allege they have lost.
In a statement Irish Minister for Justice Alan Shatter said it was 'not acceptable that persons should seek to be immune from the consequences of their actions through evading court proceedings which they face in this jurisdiction.'
'Pending the conclusion of the extradition treaty between Ireland and Brazil' it has reportedly been agreed that they would now treat extradition requests from each other on the basis of reciprocity. And against that background, Lynn is now facing extradition proceedings there,' Minister Shatter added.
'Should Lynn be extradited he would face criminal charges here on which it would not be appropriate for me to comment,' he concluded.