Irish Property High-Flyer with Investments in Bulgaria Faces High Court
Michael Lynn, an Irish solicitor and property developer with huge investments in Bulgaria, has been brought before the High Court in Ireland on charges that he used clients' money to purchase overseas property and draw down up to EUR 50 M in loans.
"Five banks owed up to EUR 50 M by Michael Lynn have applied to the High Court to have their mortgage loans registered," the Irish Independent daily reported, adding that a scramble amongst the banks to secure priority on the loans owed to them is very likely.
Lynn, practising as Capel Law, is alleged to have taken out multiple mortgages on several properties with a number of major Irish banks. His accounts have been frozen; he has been ordered to disclose a full list of his accounts and assets; and he has agreed not to practise.
Yesterday, it emerged that the high-profile solicitor, whose practise has been shut down by the Law Society, has arranged with his new legal team to have a "forensic" accountant assist in "clarifying" his accounts.
The liabilities are estimated as at least EUR 26 M and may be as much as EUR 50 M.
Lynn was reported to have attended the High Court supported by his wife, Brid Murphy.
"The couple held hands throughout the 10-minute hearing as Lynn's barrister told High Court President, Richard Johnson, that he "can't say" how many properties are involved," the Independent reported.
A figure of 105 properties had previously been mentioned, including some 30 or 40 properties overseas.
Last year, one of the property tycoon's companies gave away a EUR 100,000 apartment in Bulgaria on the Late Late Show as part of a promotion. He also used the services of high-profile footballers in Ireland and Portugal to promote his ventures.
According to Sunday Independent a combination of slow sales and rising interest rates have precipitated the current crisis.
Lynn's company Kendar Global Properties stepped on the Bulgarian property market earlier this year with the launch of the construction of a residential and vacation complex near the town of Razlog, close to the ski resort of Bansko.
The company announced plans for EUR 75 M of investments in apartments and real estate in Bulgaria by 2010.