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Former High Court taxing master's legal action over arrest in alleged money laundering investigation

In Ireland, a former High Court taxing master is taking legal measures over his arrest and the seizure of confidential documents from his office during an AML investigation.

Officers from Ireland's National Economic Crime Bureau arrested Jim Flynn on March 4th and questioned him for two days (GNECB).

As part of an investigation into alleged money laundering, police officials searched his law office and seized confidential documents and his cell phone.

On March 5th, Mr. Flynn was released, with a report to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

According to the Irish Times, the investigation stemmed from the Central Bank of Ireland's refusal to exchange a number of damaged bank notes worth €4,400 from one of Mr Flynn's clients following the conclusion of a police investigation.

Following the Central Bank's decision to withhold the notes due to claims that they had been "intentionally damaged," the client had taken legal action. The client objected to this.

In April of this year, the client paid Mr Flynn's practice fees in cash. Earlier that year, the Central Bank revealed that it had exchanged other damaged banknotes worth €4950.

The Central Bank referred the case to the Irish police, after which the GNECB sought a search warrant for Mr Flynn's offices in Dublin, believing there were reasonable grounds to suspect evidence of money laundering.

Between 1993 and 2011, Mr. Flynn worked as a taxing master in the High Court, where he was tasked with assessing disputed legal costs as an independent court officer.

Mr Flynn's lawyers filed a judicial review petition on March 30 to have the search warrant revoked. Mr Flynn is also seeking High Court orders for the return of his phone, as well as the information used to obtain the District Court search order.

The search warrant, according to Mr. Flynn and his lawyers, allowed an "egregious intrusion into and violation of the fundamental principle of lawyer/client privilege," as well as a "attack" on his privacy rights.

His lawyer described the investigation as "spurious" and said his client's arrest had "absolutely no basis."

"Our client had no opportunity to query the legal basis for the warrant at the time it was sought, in violation of his rights to due process," he continued.

"Other less intrusive options such as an application for a production order seeking access to files were not sought," his lawyer added.



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