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Michael Lynn arriving at the criminal courts of justice.
michael lynn trial

Financial services worker's career 'nose dived' after Michael Lynn took out €4.1 million loan

The worker claimed ‘there was harassment’ and that she faced a backlash in work over the loan.

A FINANCIAL SERVICES worker has told a court that her career “nose dived” after it emerged former solicitor Michael Lynn’s €4.1 million loan with her employer was in difficulty.

Olivia Greene, former senior underwriter with Irish Nationwide Building Society, told Dublin Circuit Criminal Court that her boss Michael Fingleton told her he wasn’t going to take the blame for the loan, when it emerged in 2007 that Mr Lynn had taken out similar loans with other financial institutions for Glenlion House in Howth.

Mr Lynn (55), of Millbrook Court, Redcross, Co Wicklow is on trial accused of the theft of around €27 million from seven financial institutions. He has pleaded not guilty to 21 counts of theft in Dublin between October 23, 2006 and April 20, 2007.

It is the prosecution’s case that Mr Lynn obtained multiple mortgages on the same properties, in a situation where banks were unaware that other institutions were also providing finance.

The financial institutions involved are Bank of Ireland, National Irish Bank (later known as Danske Bank), Irish Life and Permanent, Ulster Bank, ACC Bank, Bank of Scotland Ireland and Irish Nationwide Building Society (INBS).

Today, Ms Greene told Karl Finnegan SC, prosecuting, that she was a senior underwriter for INBS when Mr Lynn’s €4.1 million mortgage application was referred to her in late 2006 by Mark Mulcahy, Dun Laoghaire branch manager.

Ms Greene told the court that the loan amount was outside of her discretionary limit and as a result, she discussed it with her boss, INBS chief executive Michael Fingleton. She agreed that as a result of this conversation, a loan offer was made.

The court was shown documentation from within the bank which outlined Mr Lynn’s borrowings with the bank and his “immaculate repayment record”.

The documents said Mr Lynn had assets to the value of over €45 million and had recorded a profit of €1.25 million in the previous financial year.

The court heard the purpose of the loan was for a “principal private residence”.

An evaluation carried out by an independent valuer for INBS said the site “might not be an ideal development site, due to its topography”, the court heard.

Mr Finnegan asked Ms Greene if she or the bank would have entertained approving the loan if it had been known that other financial institutions had facilitated loans for Mr Lynn to purchase Glenlion.

Ms Greene replied: “Not in a million years, no.”

She said the purpose of the loan was “absolutely not” for property development at the site.

The court heard that Ms Greene’s role in facilitating the loan for Glenlion took a “personal toll”.

Ms Greene told the court that after a story appeared in the Sunday Independent in relation to Mr Lynn, she went into work on the Monday morning where a colleague told her: “You’re in for it now”.

She said she she then had a meeting with Mr Fingleton who asked her who had approved the Glenlion loan. “I said, ‘you did’,” Ms Greene told the court.

She said things then got “heated” and Mr Fingleton told her he was “never going to take the blame for it and someone else was going to take the blame for it”.

“My career nosedived,” Ms Greene said. She said there was “harassment” and “as a result of that loan, things took a nosedive”.

She left her employment and took a case for constructive dismissal.

Under cross-examination from Paul Comiskey O’Keefe BL, defending, Ms Greene agreed that INBS was a beneficiary of the bank insolvency scheme, was fined €5 million which it was unable to pay and that ultimately, the total cost to the state was €5.4 billion.

The trial resumes on Monday before Judge Martin Nolan and the jury.