A solicitor previously under threat from notorious gangland criminal Alan Wilson has been arrested as part of a major probe into the forgery of property deeds.
The 60-year-old is due to be sentenced in a separate fraud case in July at Dublin Circuit Court after he admitted six sample charges of obtaining money by false pretences at a court sitting last January.
The Herald can reveal that he was arrested at his Rathmines home yesterday morning and taken to Terenure Garda Station, where he was still being questioned last night.
He has been the focus of a lengthy investigation by the gardai's National Economic Crime Bureau (GNECB), which was alerted that "forged deeds in relation to two properties were sent into the Property Registration Office".
"Gardai are investigating if this individual was the solicitor who acted for criminals who made over €200,000 in relation to these properties which are located on the northside and the southside of Dublin," a senior source said.
"This case is about the re-registering of vacant properties in the city.
"The question is, how involved was the solicitor in this enterprise?
"It's a complex case that has been ongoing for some months."
The solicitor is no stranger to brushes with the law, and was arrested in 2009 for withholding information in relation to the murder of Romanian teenager Marioara Rostas.
The 18-year-old was abducted from a street in the south inner city on January 6, 2008, but her body was not found until just over four years later.
It is suspected she was sexually assaulted before being shot four times in the head. Her body was then buried in the Dublin Mountains.
Notorious gangland criminal Wilson (41) was the chief suspect in the case, but he was cleared by a jury of murder in July 2014.
Wilson, from the south inner city, is currently serving six years for plotting a murder attempt on Gary Hanley in November 2017 as part of the Hutch-Kinahan feud.
The solicitor who was arrested yesterday by fraud squad detectives was previously "well-known" to Wilson, but was never a suspect in Ms Rostas' murder.
He was released without charge after being questioned in October 2009 about withholding information about it.
The solicitor was also questioned for withholding information about a plot uncovered by gardai in which associates of Wilson were to organise the murders of a respected garda and a journalist in November 2011.
Months later, Wilson turned on his former pal, and his associates plotted to kill the solicitor, resulting in his being officially warned of an active threat against his life.
However, the plot was foiled in April 2012 when officers discovered a handwritten note in Wilson's cell.
That happened during a raid that revealed the plot that would have led to the solicitor being murdered in Rathmines by two gangsters.
Gardai were forced to act quickly after the discovery of the note, which gave details of the murder bid, including where and when it was to be carried out.
Detectives told the solicitor of the threat against him.
They moved him out of his home in Rathmines and took him to a secure location for some days.
The solicitor has since spoken out against Wilson, saying he was targeted by the gangster because he convinced another criminal to give evidence against the gangland psycho in the Rostas murder.