The fraudster Jim Flavin of DCC is walking around a free man because Fyffes, in their own interests, decided to take a civil rather than a criminal case against him. Despite the Supreme Court’s conclusion that Flavin was guilty of insider trading to the tune of €83 million the Irish State has made no move to press criminal charges.
The rogue solicitor Michael Lynn is also enjoying the benefits of being dealt with under civil rather than criminal law. Lynn, whose alleged fraud also involves a figure of around €80 million, is due to give evidence from London via video link next month in a case unrelated to his own dodgy activities.
For reasons best known to himself the DPP has decided not to initiate criminal charges against Lynn. This situation makes life very easy for the rogue solicitor; he can come and go as he please so long as he doesn’t return to Ireland.
The Garda Fraud Bureau investigation into Lynn is slow and cumbersome and according to Garda sources will not be completed for a number of months.
When the investigation is complete the DPP must then make a decision on whether criminal charges should be brought. According to a report in today’s Irish Independent this will also take several months. We are not told why a decision like this should take so long.
Here’s what I think.
Civil rather than criminal proceedings allow Lynn the freedom to continue operating his businesses. This means he can work away at trying to resolve his ‘difficulties’.
Meanwhile, the low key and long drawn out process here in Ireland, whether intentional or co-incidental, leaves the way open for a deal to be eventually worked out to the satisfaction of all parties.
We shouldn’t therefore be surprised if at some point there’s an announcement that ‘arrangements’ have been made between the interested parties and the DPP doesn’t have to resort to all that embarrassing and nasty criminal proceedings stuff after all.
The powers that be can then continue to operate under the illusion that Ireland is on a par with other Western jurisdictions where the rule of law is seen as vital to a healthy democracy.