Ex-solicitor in €300,000 fraud jailed for four years
A former solicitor who admitted theft, fraud and forgery offences worth a total loss of more than €300,000 has been jailed for four years with two suspended.
Judge Sean Ó Donnabháin, sitting in Cork Circuit Court, told Mark Cronin, formerly of Cronin Mungovan Solicitors in Macroom, that it was not possible for Mr Cronin to avoid a jail sentence due to the nature of his offences.
Mr Cronin was struck off by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal in 2013 in connection with nine instances of misconduct, including four related to misappropriation of funds from clients.
Mr Cronin’s former legal partner, Clare Mungovan, was completely exonerated of involvement at the time.
The court heard that the Law Society of Ireland had compensated clients of Mr Cronin who had lost money, and the Revenue Commissioners had waived penalties related to late payments where funds were stolen by Mr Cronin.
The offences took place between September 2010–January 2012.
Judge Ó Donnabháin said a six-year sentence would be appropriate for the offences without a plea or mitigating factors, but a four-year sentence with two suspended was suitable in Mr Cronin’s case.