Tuesday 17 September 2019

Solicitor who took out fraudulent mortgage to be sentenced this week

Declan McEvoy
Declan McEvoy

A Gorey solicitor, who took out a fraudulent mortgage after his father's law firm got into trouble with the Law Society, will be sentenced this week.

Declan McEvoy (50) was practising in Carlow town when his father's firm, JM McEvoy in Gorey was being investigated. His father had also previously been State Solicitor in the town.

The Law Society allowed Mr McEvoy Snr to retire from the firm on the condition that his son took it over. Declan McEvoy later used the €297,000 he fraudulently obtained from AIB in order to clear debts in his father's firm.

His defence counsel told Judge Melanie Greally that "a series of skeletons started coming out of the cupboard" of the Gorey practice and McEvoy obtained a mortgage fraudulently "to mop it up and maintain both firms".

"He made a very serious error in judgment" Felix McEnroy SC said "and he tried to solve problems that in many respects had not been his creation".

McEvoy, who now has an address, in Melbourne, Australia pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to dishonestly obtaining a mortgage with AIB for €297,000 on dates between May 5, 2009 and July 20,2009. He has no previous convictions.

Detective Sergeant Martin Griffin told Ronan Kennedy BL, prosecuting, that when McEvoy accepted the offer from AIB it was on the condition that he was the registered owner of the property in Castleknock, Dublin for which he was taking out the mortgage.

It later transpired that his sister was the owner of the house and McEvoy had acted as her solicitor when she later sold it for €310,000 in December 2009.

The buyer had put down a deposit on the property in August 2009, a month after McEvoy drew down his mortgage for the house.

Det Sgt Griffin said McEvoy made the monthly mortgage repayments until the High Court seized all his assets and froze his bank accounts in September 2011.

McEvoy had been living in Australia since 2012 with his wife and teenage sons. He returned to Ireland last January, surrendered his passport and pleaded guilty.

Judge Greally said she needed time to consider the case and adjourned sentencing until Wednesday April 27. She remanded McEvoy on continuing bail.

Wexford People