Saturday 27 December 2014

Irish banking world rocked as three financiers in court

Tom Tuite

Published 19/12/2013 | 02:30

Year-end edition {2006} of permanent tsb/ESRI House price index published
 The 2006 year-end edition of the permanent tsb House price index compiled in association with the ESRI-reveals that house prices nationally grew by 11.8% during 2006. This comares to annual growth of 9.3% in 2005.
 Pictured is Denis Casey, CEO, permanent tsb.
 Picture by Shane O'Neill, Fennell Photography.
Former Irish Life and Permanent Chief Executive Denis Casey
John Bowe (50), of Glasnevin, Dublin, leaving court yesterday. Photo: Courtpix
Former director of finance of Irish Life and Permanent Peter Fitzpatrick, from Malahide, Dublin, leaving court yesterday. Photo: Courtpix

A former chief executive of Irish Life & Permanent (IL&P) and two other former bankers will stand trial on charges of conspiring to mislead Anglo Irish Bank investors in the run-up to the banking crisis of September 2008.

One of the three men charged is Denis Casey (54) from Raheny, Dublin, who becomes the first chief executive officer (CEO) who was in charge of an Irish financial institution during the crash to have charges brought against him.

The trials will be closely watched by investors who lost out as a result of their decision to hold on to Anglo Irish Bank shares and junior bonds in the period before the bank was nationalised.

Investors will be seeking any evidence that could help them make legal claims to recoup losses.

The three former senior bank executives will stand trial accused of conspiring to mislead Anglo Irish Bank investors in relation to €7.2bn transactions.

The three include Mr Casey, who becomes the first former chief executive officer (CEO) of any Irish financial institution to have charges brought against him since the crash.

The prosecutions relate to financial transfers involving Irish Life Assurance, Irish Life and Permanent and Anglo Irish Bank, between March and September 2008 -- the period running up to the bank guarantee.

The case is not related to the trial of three former Anglo Irish Bank executives set to go ahead in January

Mr Casey was the head of Irish Life and Permanent (IL&P) until 2009; prior to that he had a senior role at Permanent TSB -- which has since been nationalised.

The second man charged is John Bowe, who had been head of capital markets at Anglo Irish Bank which was nationalised costing taxpayers about €30bn.

It was later re-branded the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC) which is now in special liquidation. He had stayed on working at the bank until last year.

The third defendant is 61-year-old Peter Fitzpatrick, from Malahide, Co Dublin, who had been IL&P's former director of finance.

The ex-bankers were arrested in Dublin by appointment yesterday morning by detectives from the Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation.

They were taken to the Bridewell garda station where charges were put to them before they were brought to appear before Judge Patricia McNamara at Dublin District Court.

BAIL

It is alleged they conspired, contrary to common law, to transfer €7.2bn to Anglo Irish Bank in order to give the impression it had larger deposits than was the case.

Mr Bowe (50), from Glasnevin, Dublin, also faces an additional charge that on December 3, 2008 he made use of an account that was false or deceptive, contrary to Section 10 of the Theft and Fraud Act.

Detective Inspector Gerry Walsh told the court that they all replied "No" when they were charged.

Solicitor Dara Robinson, for John Bowe, said it was not a case of self-enrichment and the prosecution was in the context of the banking system. He said his client, a married father-of-three, had co-operated with the garda investigation since 2009 and was not a flight risk.

There was no objection to bail and state solicitor Padraig Mawe told the judge that the DPP had directed that they were to face trial on indictment, meaning their case will go before a judge and jury at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

The three men, who have not yet indicated how they will plead, were remanded on bail in their own bonds of €1,000 with €10,000 independent sureties. They were ordered to appear again at the district court on March 12.

As a condition of bail they must sign on once a week at their local Garda stations.

Mr Mawe, for the State, also asked the news media to note that this case had no factual connection with the trial of former Anglo executives which is set to begin in January 2014.

The judge agreed to his request to remind the media that nothing should be published or broadcast that would prejudice either trial.

Irish Independent

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