TWO former solicitors signed pleas of guilty yesterday to conspiracy to commit fraud, arising out of a Garda investigation into the theft of several hundred thousand from a number of banks over an 18-month period.
Keith Flynn, aged 46, and Lyndsey Clarke, aged 37, who both have the same address at Blarney St in Cork City, both indicated yesterday they were prepared to enter a signed plea of guilty.
Each defendant faced a charge of conspiracy to commit fraud. Flynn and Clark each faced a charge of conspiring with the other between January 1, 2016 and June 26, 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.
The defendants were represented at Cork District Court yesterday by solicitor, Graham Hyde, who told Judge Olann Kelleher that both parties were pleading guilty. Judge Kelleher remanded them on continuing bail to appear for sentencing at Cork Circuit Criminal Court on October 27.
Mr Hyde said the prosecution had instructed a senior counsel for the case and he asked for free legal to be extended for the appointment of a senior counsel as well as a junior counsel for each defendant. Sergeant Gearóid Davis confirmed there was no state objection to that application. Judge Olann Kelleher extended free legal aid for that purpose.
Mr Hyde applied for free legal aid when the two former solicitors were initially brought before Cork District Court at a vacation sitting last month. He said Flynn was currently working as a chef and in receipt of €500 a week and was fully supporting four children. Mr Hyde made a similar application for Clarke stating that she is a mother of two and in receipt of €217 a week on a back to work scheme.
Both accused are former solicitors who practiced as Keith Flynn & Company, the Capel Building, Mary’s St, Dublin. 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.
So far none of the background allegations in the case have been outlined in court.