Disgraced solicitor Thomas Byrne who swindled €52m has Gucci goods delivered to jail cell

1 js240678515jpeg.jpg
1 js240678515jpeg.jpg

A rogue solicitor who swindled €52 million has had Gucci slippers delivered to him in jail.

Dublin Live has learned that Thomas Byrne, who also defrauded 13 clients out of their houses or money, is living a glamorous lifestyle behind bars.

Sources say despite his 12-year sentence for 50 charges of theft and fraud, Byrne (55) is showing off his wealth from inside the walls of Shelton Abbey open prison.

It’s understood that a pair of Gucci slippers, thought to be worth almost €1,000, were delivered to Byrne last week.

It comes as sources say Byrne is coming to the end of his sentence, and he could be fully released within months.



Former Solicitor Thomas Byrne arriving at the Criminal Courts of Justice for his trial

A source said: “Everyone in the prison is scratching their heads at Byrne getting designer slippers in the post. No one can understand where the money is coming from. And he has the audacity to wear them in there. It’s laughable.”

Byrne was granted his first taste of freedom last December, when he was granted temporary release for a weekend.

Dublin Live snapped the disgraced former solicitor, who was dressed in a massive ‘fur-like’ coat for the occasion at the time.

Now sources say the criminal, who was once dubbed “Ireland’s biggest crook”, could be fully released as early as this year.

The disgraced former solicitor and father-of-three was struck-off from the legal profession after he was found guilty of what was the worst fraud case in the history of the State.

Byrne, who once threw lavish Christmas parties in the Four Seasons hotel, saw his world come crashing down around him, after a whistleblower went to gardai.

During his infamous trial, Byrne’s defence barrister said his world had collapsed “like a house of cards” and that he had turned to drink and lost his family, his profession and his respect and dignity.

The charges alleged he transferred clients’ homes into his name and then used them as collateral for property loans.

He was also accused of using invalid collateral to fraudulently borrow millions from six financial institutions.

He had pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to 50 counts of theft, forgery, using forged documents and deception between 2004 and 2007.

Byrne told the 27-day trial that his former business partner John Kelly forced him to borrow €51.8 million from the banks because they would no longer lend to him.

The accused claimed that Mr Kelly threatened to kill him and his seven-year-old daughter if he didn’t cooperate.

However, the jury was told the law did not allow him to use the defence of duress in this case.

The claims were subsequently described by Mr Kelly, who was not called as a witness by either the prosecution or the defence, as scurrilous and false.

Byrne’s employee, solicitor Barbara Cooney, discovered he had forged her name on a document to borrow money. She reported him to the Law Society.

In sentencing Byrne Judge Patrick McCartan described his scam as “staggering” and said it took extreme “skill and cunning”.

Judge McCartan said Byrne’s “colossal” deception was “so much more than a dip in the till”.

The judge said that he had no choice but to hand down a severe sentence to the disgraced former solicitor.

Two of Byrne’s victims, Vera McGrane and Terry Connors were in court to see justice being served after a long six years.

And Terry, who along with his brother Matt had no idea Byrne had signed over five of their properties into his own name, previously told how he was glad Byrne’s con was uncovered.

“Bare-faced lies that were never going to be believed,” said Mr Connors.

“I could never understand how such an intelligent man could come up with such a defence.

“Absolutely ridiculous and it was never going to be believed.

“He’s a legal man himself and he should have known better I would have thought

“He’s done an awful lot of wrong and he’s upset a lot of people, not so much us.

“We’re able to cope with it but some of the others, people who have passed away and their families and it has caused them so much irritation and frustration.

“We’re sick of it at this stage. It’s gone on six years and we just want to be at the end of it.”

Get the latest breaking news to your inbox by signing up to our free newsletter