The couple who carried out a targeted fraud campaign against banks and credit unions were jailed today.
Keith Flynn, 46, was sentenced to four years in prison backdated to October 27 2020 when he went into custody.
His wife and co-accused, Lyndsey Clarke, 37, was sentenced to two years in prison commencing today.
Both are former solicitors.
Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin said that to explain the difference in how the parties were treated at sentencing it could be stated that it allowed for the differences in the personal circumstances of the two accused.
Detective Garda Alan McCarthy said the background to the criminal enterprise saw the husband and wife using wigs, disguises, costumes, forged drivers licences and passports in a targeted campaign to defraud banks and credit unions of almost €400,000.
Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin said the €100,000 cash which was recovered in the garda investigation should be dispersed on a pro-rata basis between Bank of Ireland, AIB, Ulster Bank and 12 credit unions.
However he said that should only be done only after a separate €10,000 was first given from the recovered funds to Bank of Ireland whose crime unit uncovered the scam to begin with.
The judge said they did this when the other financial institutions “were asleep at the wheel.”
Detective Garda Alan McCarthy testified that both defendants set up 60 false identities or aliases by creating false documents. Initially, they purchased forged driving licences from an on-line site called Flawless Fake IDs. They also secured utility bills in false IDs.
“They created eight different PPS numbers. They asked rough sleepers for their PPS numbers,” Det. Garda McCarthy said.
Using all of these false documents they opened 80 bank accounts for people who did not exist. Then they would apply for loans. For a short time they would make repayments but then stop paying. They got loans totaling €469,000, causing a loss to the institutions of over €390,000.
Some of it was done online and by phone, and when they needed to go into banks or to ATMs they wore wigs and disguises.
They caused losses as follows: €49,000 for Bank of Ireland, €154,000 for AIB, €31,000 for Ulster Bank and €156,000 for various credit unions.
False accounts were also set up by the couple with PTSB, KBC and An Post but those institutions did not give them loans.
Most of the frauds were carried out in Cork and Dublin cities.
They both pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit fraud.