Thursday, 27 October 2020

Michael Lynn joins the Boys from Brazil and heads for South America

Fugitive solicitor Michael Lynn has kept the gardai waiting when it comes to explaining about the €80 million in mortgages he borrowed. Ali Bracken in The Daily Mail this morning has a story on how he has finally legged it to Brazil which doesn't have an extradition treaty with Ireland. The story quotes sources saying he still has ideas about making up the lost cash by investing in properties deal in Brazil. Looks like the singing solicitor is somewhat removed from reality as well as the long arm of the law.

Tuesday, 18 October 2020

Frankie Shanley and the lifestyle fraudsters who can charm the birds out of the trees

Con-artist Frankie Shanley made himself famous when he phoned in to a Liveline discussion about his smooth-talking exploits. Yesterday, he got four years in jail for stealing TV camera equipment and an attempt to get a woman to hand over her newly bought Mercedes. As he admitted yesterday in court there was no great master plan to Shanley's expensive criminal escapades. Read about it here.
He falls into a category of lifestyle fraudsters who use their considerable charm to liberate cars, cheques and wallets for some short term high-living. Tom 'The Con' McLoughlin did the same on a slighter smaller scale and was also the star of a few episodes of Liveline. My favourite, however, is Juan Carlos Bettancort, who hit top-end hotels posing a wealthy guest and persuaded security staff to open safes for him. Like Shanley he's now serving time after being caught on Canada while Tom the Con escaped jail over his last scam on taking deposits for an apartment that didn't belong to him.

Thursday, 13 October 2020

Ex-mortgage brokers may be feeling a little uncomfortable these days

The Central Bank are finally getting around to investigating how mortgages were sold in Ireland during the boom times. This week they confirmed that the Irish Mortgage Corporation were one firm that would be looked into. Read here. Another broker they could do with looking at is Wicklow man, Robert Dignam, who featured in the Sunday World. My colleague Niamh O'Connor, posing as a hard-up would-be house buyer, was able to buy fake documents to make a mortgage application in 2008. Evidence suggested that he may have handled as much as €100 million worth of mortgage business. Read previous posts on mortgage fraud here. Drop me an email if you have dodgy broker stories.

Wednesday, 12 October 2020

How to make a quick couple of million using mobile phones

It's nice to know some of my sources are on the ball. In March 2010 I wrote about how criminals were setting up premium phone lines and creating revenue through bill-pay phones. Read here. This week the fraud squad in the UK got a good result against a gang who made st£4.5 million from what is now being called international share revenue fraud. Mobile phone service providers have apparently tightened up the software to detect this type of fraud quicker and shut down the rogue accounts. Read it here.

Tuesday, 11 October 2020

The Nigerian 419 scam-artist army marches on.

The 419 scammers are still hard at it judging by my spam folder. One Limerick landlord almost got caught with a fake money order in which the con-artist sends over and above an agreed fee and asks the victim to wire back the difference. In the past the victims would wire back the money before the bank draft cleared and then get a shock when told, too late, that it was a forgery. This time, the landlord's bank was on the ball. Read it here. People who should know better can also get caught as shown by the case of a Dublin solicitor, James J Maher. He was suspended as a solicitor by the Law Society after he admitted to sending €240,000 of clients' cash to fund an Irish architect involved in a €28 million Nigerian pipeline project. Read here.