Ireland

Two former solicitors remanded on bail after being charged with fraud offence

DPP directs pair be tried on indictment by judge and jury at circuit court level, court hears

The judge remanded both accused on continuing bail to September 2nd while he also granted both of them free legal aid. File photograph: Collins Courts

The judge remanded both accused on continuing bail to September 2nd while he also granted both of them free legal aid. File photograph: Collins Courts

Two former solicitors have appeared in court charged with a fraud offence following a garda investigation into the theft of sums totaling several hundred thousand euros from a number of banks over an 18 month period.

Keith Flynn (46) and Lyndsey Clarke (37), who both have the same address at Blarney Street in Cork city, were each charged with a single offence of conspiracy to commit fraud when they appeared at a vacation sitting of Cork District Court on Wednesday.

Mr Flynn is charged with conspiring with Ms Clarke between January 1st, 2016 and June 26th, 2018 to defraud AIB, Bank of Ireland, Ulster Bank and other financial institutions by creating false identities for the purpose of obtaining credit dishonestly with the effect of causing financial loss to the banks.

And Ms Clarke was similarly charged with conspiring with Mr Flynn between the same dates to defraud AIB, Bank of Ireland, Ulster Bank and other financial institutions by creating false identities for the purpose of obtaining credit dishonestly with the effect of causing financial loss to the banks.

At Cork District Court, Sgt Gearoid Davis said the DPP had directed that the matters be tried on indictment by a judge and jury at circuit court level or, if the defendants so chose, the DPP was consenting to them being sent forward to Cork Circuit Criminal Court on a signed plea.

Defence solicitor Graham Hyde applied for a four-week adjournment in respect of Mr Flynn for service of the book of evidence and he applied for free legal aid for his client, saying he was currently working as a chef, was in receipt of €500 a week and was fully supporting four children.

Mr Hyde also made a similar application for a four-week adjournment in respect of Ms Clarke, again for service of the book of evidence and similarly applied for free legal aid, saying that Ms Clarke, a mother of two, was in receipt of €217 a week on a back-to-work scheme.

Sgt Davis suggested adjourning both matters to September 2nd for service of the book of evidence and Judge Olann Kelleher agreed. The judge remanded both accused on continuing bail to that date while he also granted both of them free legal aid.

Both accused are former solicitors who practiced as Keith Flynn & Company, the Capel Building, Mary’s Abbey in Dublin and Ms Clarke is a former Fine Gael candidate who ran for the party in the Cork North West ward in the 2014 Cork City Council local elections when she polled 239 votes.

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