Ex-Anglo bankers given bail after €8m loan fraud arrests
TWO former Anglo Irish Bank executives have appeared in court on charges connected to the alleged fraudulent securing of a loan for more than €8m.
Willie McAteer (63) and Pat Whelan (53) were both arrested by arrangement and brought before Dublin District Court.
They are charged with one count each of breaching the Companies Act at the now-defunct bank in 2008.
They are facing trial by judge and jury on the charges and Judge John O'Neill granted bail before adjourning the cases for the preparation of a book of evidence. Neither Mr McAteer, of Green Rath, Tipperary Town nor Mr Whelan, with an address at Coast Road, Co Dublin, spoke during the brief hearings yesterday.
The charge against Mr McAteer is that he was knowingly a party to the carrying out of the business of a company for a fraudulent purpose, namely the granting by Anglo Irish Bank a loan to him in an amount of €8.246m, secured only upon his own shares in Anglo Irish Bank so he could discharge a loan to Bank of Ireland in that amount, for which he was personally liable.
In the then circumstances pertaining to Anglo Irish Bank, the charge alleges, this caused a gain to Mr McAteer and a loss to the bank.
A similar charge against Mr Whelan alleges he was party to the granting of the same loan to Mr McAteer, causing a gain to Mr McAteer.
Pat Whelan is former director of lending in Ireland at Anglo Irish Bank and Mr McAteer is former finance director.
The prosecuting gardai told the court Mr McAteer met them by appointment at the Bridewell Station at 8.53am yesterday and was charged at 9.40am. Mr Whelan met them at 9.05am and was charged at 9.45am.
Neither made any reply to the charges after caution.
Mr McAteer's case was called first in court, followed by Mr Whelan's. Both men wore dark suits, Mr McAteer with a shirt and multicoloured tie; Mr Whelan with an open-necked white shirt.
The only time they spoke during the proceedings was to reply: "yes" to Judge O'Neill, after he asked them to confirm their signatures on bail bonds.
Gardai had no objection to bail being granted in either case subject to conditions.
Judge O'Neill granted bail in the defendants' own bond of €1,000 each, and independent sureties of €10,000. No cash lodgements were required in either case.
Conditions are that they notify the gardai within 48 hours of any intention to leave Ireland or the UK. They must also give the same notice to gardai if they intend to change address.
Mr McAteer is to sign on once per month at Tipperary Town Garda Station, while Mr Whelan must also sign on monthly at Malahide Station.
Judge O'Neill approved Mr McAteer's wife Maria as surety and froze the sum on €10,000.
He approved Anthony Carey as surety in Mr Whelan's case and made a similar order in relation to his account.
A State Solicitor said the DPP was directing trial on indictment. Judge O'Neill granted bail and adjourned the cases until November 3.