FitzPatrick to face public grilling on Anglo next month
Published 17/03/2011 | 05:00
DISGRACED former Anglo Irish Bank chairman Sean FitzPatrick is expected to face questioning in public about his actions next month, the Irish Independent has learned.
Mr FitzPatrick will be the first of three former Anglo executives to face public disciplinary tribunals being mounted by the Chartered Accountants Regulatory Board (CARB).
The accountancy watchdog is to announce details of the hearing schedule next week, but it is widely expected hearings into complaints against Mr FitzPatrick's will commence during April.
Further public hearings into the conduct of former Anglo chief executive David Drumm and the bank's former finance director Willie McAteer will only take place after Mr FitzPatrick's case has concluded.
Mr FitzPatrick was previously arrested and questioned by garda fraud officers, but has not been charged with an offence.
A special investigation by former Comptroller & Auditor General John Purcell, working on behalf of CARB, found Mr FitzPatrick had primae facie cases to answer over a number of key events.
These concerned his role in relation to:
- the temporary transfer of up to €100m of his own loans off the books of Anglo Irish Bank.
- the movement of billions of euro in deposits between Anglo and Irish Life & Permanent to help bolster Anglo's books.
- a loan made to Mr McAteer in 2008.
Mr FitzPatrick was declared bankrupt last year.
If he is found guilty of misconduct, CARB has the power to fine him up to €30,000 and ban him from practicing as an accountant. The three-person disciplinary tribunal will be chaired by a lawyer.
If he chooses not to attend, CARB can seek a court order compelling him to appear.
It is unclear how long the hearings will take.
It remains unclear whether Mr Drumm intends to return to Ireland to defend himself.
Mr Drumm is facing five disciplinary charges, three of which are similar to those being faced by Mr FitzPatrick.
The other two charges relate to allegations that he changed the terms of loans and his role in granting loans to four key management personnel.
He is seeking to be declared bankrupt in the US after failing to repay debts of €10m.
Mr McAteer is facing three disciplinary charges, all of which are similar to those being faced by Mr FitzPatrick.