Runaway Developer Speaks

Runaway rogue solicitor and property developer Michael Lynn, who fled Ireland 15 months ago with estimated debts of €80 million, has given his first interview since his disappearance and has claimed that Irish banks "couldn't get enough" of him when he applied for loans on properties at home and abroad. He told the Irish Mail on Sunday in the interview at an undisclosed location, "When they (the banks) were considering the merits of giving me a loan for an asset at home they would know about my development abroad. That's their decision. Those were their choices and it was all of our choices to borrow the money." He agreed that many of his loans involved multiple mortgages on the same properties, but denied committing fraud. "It's true I had extensive borrowings. That's absolutely true," he said. "But it's also true that the acts I engaged in and the misguided deeds - on the basis of advice from various professionals and the acceptance of certain parties - was probably misguided. But was it fraudulent? I do not believe so." He was willing to return to Ireland and "face up to my responsibilities," but his first priority was to continue traveling around Europe attempting to secure, as far as was possible, the investments of those who had put money into his business. Lynn said he was willing to go to prison for "one month, two months, three months" although, he added, he did not see why he should. "The one thing I want to make clear is that I am not going to be a scapegoat for others. I am not going to be used as an example of what was recognized as an acceptable form and practice of business by bankers, lawyers, accountants and auctioneers. I am not going to be the poster boy who ends up in prison to my cost alone." Since his disappearance Lynn has been struck off as a solicitor by the Law Society, which this week angrily rejected what it called his "self-justification" of his behavior. Law Society Director General Ken Murphy said Lynn's behavior was "shameful and disgraceful." Murphy pointed out that the society was still paying compensation from a special fund to Lynn clients who had lost money because of his activities. There is a warrant out for Lynn's arrest after he failed to appear in court in Dublin. There are 130 sets of legal proceedings against him from banks and other financial institutions, and from many of his clients. The Law Society has handed its files on him to Gardai (police) who wish to question him in connection with allegations of fraud. So far they have been unable to locate him, and no charges have been laid. Because no charges have been issued, he cannot be arrested in another country and extradited.

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