Sunday 24 September 2017

FitzPatrick didn't want accounts sent to Revenue officials, trial told

Sean Fitzpatrick
Sean Fitzpatrick

Conor Gallagher

Former Anglo Irish Bank chairman Sean FitzPatrick told an employee not to submit accounts belonging to his brother-in-law to Revenue, which was then investigating alleged tax evasion at the bank, a trial has heard.

The trial of three Anglo officials accused of hiding accounts connected to Mr FitzPatrick yesterday heard from the former head of compliance with the bank, Brian Gillespie. He alleged that one of the accused, Tiarnan O'Mahoney, ordered him to get his approval first before submitting accounts sought by Revenue.

The witness said that another accused, Bernard Daly, had asked him if he would delete an account if Mr FitzPatrick asked him to.

Mr Gillespie told the Circuit Criminal Court that in 2003 he was supplying documentation to Revenue on non-resident accounts on which Deposit Interest Retention Tax (DIRT) may have been owed. Revenue had obtained a High Court order requiring Anglo to hand over details of all non-resident accounts which had been closed.

Mr Gillespie said he was called up to the office of then chief executive, Mr FitzPatrick, and asked about the inclusion of a non-resident account in the name of John Peter O'Toole, or Peter O'Toole - Mr FitzPatrick's brother-in-law.

He confirmed the account had an Australian address, a balance of over Ir£14,000 in June 1995 and later closed.

"From memory, that was an account that closed and came squarely within the terms of the court order," Mr Gillespie said. He said Mr FitzPatrick explained to him who Mr O'Toole was.

"He made it clear to me that a family member of his wasn't to be returned to the Revenue," Mr Gillespie said.

He said Mr FitzPatrick seemed confused about the terms of the High Court order and that he explained to Mr FitzPatrick that Anglo was sending Revenue a list of all non-resident accounts and Revenue would assess if any were bogus.

Mr Gillespie said he had further conversations with the CEO about the O'Toole account but couldn't remember how many. "Not a great number, more than two," he added.

"As far as I was concerned, that account came within the terms of the High Court order and as long as I had anything to do with it, that account would be returned under the High Court order," Mr Gillespie said.

He reported Mr FitzPatrick's comments to his superior, director of finance Willie McAteer, but he didn't seem interested, he added.

Bernard Daly (65), of Collins Avenue West, Whitehall, Dublin, Tiarnan O'Mahoney (54) of Glen Pines, Enniskerry, Co Wicklow, and Aoife Maguire (60) of Rothe Abbey, South Circular Road, Kilmainham, all pleaded not guilty to seven alleged offences committed in 2003 and 2004.

Mr Daly and Mr O'Mahoney deny omitting the name of Mr O'Toole from a list provided to Revenue of people who held non-resident accounts worth over €100,000 in 1995.

Both Mr O'Mahoney and Ms Maguire deny attempting to delete six other accounts connected to Sean FitzPatrick.

Irish Independent

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