Friday 26 December 2014

Actions were never for personal gain, court told

Sarah Stack

Published 30/04/2014 | 02:30

PAT Whelan never believed he was doing anything wrong when he followed his chief executive's orders in a loan for shares deal in a bid to save the bank, the court heard.

The 52-year-old was Anglo's head of lending in Ireland when he arranged for his boss, David Drumm, to meet the so-called Maple 10, who agreed to buy bank shares in July 2008 to unwind Sean Quinn's secret stake.

When gardai were called in to investigate, Mr Whelan willingly handed over his own internal report on the transactions and met investigators four times, Judge Martin Nolan heard.

"He never sought to deny or distance himself for what had occurred," Mr Grehan said in mitigation at Mr Whelan's sentencing hearing.

Mr Grehan said his client's mitigation relied on five key issues: that Anglo's compliance department did not raise a red flag to the transaction; he was told Matheson Ormsby Prentice had given the green light; the Financial Regulator approved it; international investment bank Morgan Stanley was involved; and he had been told Anglo's board had approved it.

"He did not for a moment think he was involving himself in something that was unlawful, something that would find him before a court on trial," said Mr Grehan, adding that it was crystal clear his actions were not for personal gain.

Mr Whelan was one of only two executives kept on by the new board of the bank when it was nationalised by the Government in January 2009.

Irish Independent

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