‘Good working relationship’
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 23 October 2006 and 20 April 2007.
It is the prosecution’s case that Lynn obtained multiple mortgages on the same properties, in a situation where banks were unaware that other institutions were also providing finance.
Farrell is a former Blanchardstown branch manager with Irish Life and Permanent (now PTSB) and currently works as business-development manager for that financial institution, the court heard.
He told Karl Finnegan SC, prosecuting, that he had a “very good working relationship” with Lynn, whom he described as “a good introducer to business”.
‘Loans were for properties’
Farrell told the court that he was called to give evidence on the last occasion as a rebuttal witness, after Lynn made allegations against him – including that Farrell was one of a number of bankers who received money from him in exchange for facilitating loans.
Farrell told the court that he had never received monies from Lynn and that “the loans were for the properties full stop”. “I actually don't know what he's talking about with secret deals,” Farrell said. “...I don't know what secret deals are.”
He said that if he had been aware that Lynn was taking out other mortgages from other financial institutions on the same properties, “the application wouldn't have started”.
Farrell told Paul Comiskey O'Keeffe BL, defending, that Lynn applied to him for a loan in December 2006, and that he refused it after he realised that Lynn had a €1.1 million debt outstanding with the bank.
He said that he had had a conversation with Lynn about it, in which Lynn told him that this was a clerical error due to him being out of the country so much, and that he would fix it. “The reason I remember the conversation was that he asked me: 'Has it damaged my relationship with the bank?'” Farrell said.
Comiskey O'Keeffe put it to Farrell that, after he realised that Lynn had not repaid a €1.1 million debt to the bank in December 2006, it was not paid until April 2007, when Lynn applied for another loan.
“It seems to me you [didn’t] require anything to be done, having found out about it in December 2006, until he came along for more money in April 2007,” defence counsel said.
Farrell replied that he told Lynn to clear the loan, and that, “subsequent to that, he applied for further finance”. The court has heard that PTSB approved further loans of €4.9 million and €3.7 million to Lynn in May and June of 2007.
Comiskey O'Keeffe put it to Farrell that there was no evidence of a loan application or a loan refusal in December 2006. “There are no documentary records of what you're talking about in December 2006 anywhere,” he said.
Farrell replied: “There was an application. That's all I know.”
Defence counsel said that, in relation to the €1.1 million outstanding loan, it was Lynn's position that the conversation he had with Farrell was: “Do I have to repay it?”, with Farrell then asking him: “Can you carry it and manage the repayments?”
Farrell denied saying this, telling the court: “They are not even words I would use.”
The court was also brought through an unsigned statement that Farrell prepared for gardaí in 2008. This statement outlined Lynn's loans with PTSB, dating back to 1998.
Comiskey O'Keeffe showed the court one such loan, as outlined by Farrell in his statement, which stated Lynn was approved for a IR£145,000 (Irish punt) loan in March 2000 on condition that he repay some of his existing loans with the bank. Farrell's statement said that the loan was repaid in September 2000 “but the undertaking was not complied with”.
Defence counsel put it to Farrell that a condition of this loan was that Lynn should repay existing loans and “this was not complied with”.
“It seems to be, yes,” Mr Farrell replied.
‘No discount on apartment’
Comiskey O'Keeffe put it to Farrell that Lynn sent him tickets to Wembley, and that he got a 30% discount on an apartment in Portugal.
“I totally refute those allegations, and I have to say it was a disgusting comment to make,” Farrell said.
He said that there was no discount on an apartment, and there were no tickets to Wembley. He said that he went to a GAA game after tickets were sent to the branch, and that he attended one Meat Loaf concert.
Defence counsel asked Farrell if he was aware of an instruction within the bank in relation to Lynn's accounts that they should be marked ‘compliant’.
Comiskey O'Keeffe said that the document the defence had received was redacted, and that they were unable to say who it was sent to.
Farrell said that he did not know anything about that.
The trial continues before Judge Martin Nolan and the jury.