Wednesday 23 October 2019

Inquiry into Anglo collapse 'over'

Donal O'Donovan

Donal O'Donovan

THE investigation into the collapse of Anglo Irish Bank is effectively over as far as the office of the director of corporate enforcement (ODCE) is concerned.

The newly appointed director of corporate enforcement, Ian Drennan, said the investigation into the collapse of Anglo was "substantially" completed.

Sixty separate charges have been brought against three former executives at the bank as a result of the investigations to date.

Former Anglo Irish chairman Sean FitzPatrick and former senior executives Willie McAteer and Pat Whelan will stand trial next year following the investigation.

The cases are now before the courts and sub-judice, Mr Drennan said.

The investigation into the collapse of Anglo Irish Bank was the biggest in Irish history. Even with the primary investigations complete, it will remain a focus for the ODCE until the related trials are concluded.

At a press conference in Dublin, the State's corporate watchdog refused to say whether the directors of any other banks or companies were being investigated as a result of the banking collapse.

The actions of former directors of Irish Nationwide Building Society including long-time chief executive Michael Fingleton had never been investigated by the ODCE, because it was a building society owned by members and not a company, Mr Drennan said.

Separately, the ODCE was behind cases that saw 16 criminal convictions secured in the District Courts last year, according to its annual report.

In one case, George Motyer, of Bantry, Cork, was convicted of eight offences, fined and sentenced to jail for five months for acting as auditor for four companies while he was not qualified to do so.

The sentence was suspended for three years.

It was the only jail sentence handed down by the courts last year for company law offences.

Sentencing was a matter for judges, Mr Drennan added.

The ODCE relieved 2,400 reports or complaints last year from liquidators, company auditors, regulators or members of the public, according to the annual report.

There were 227 company directors restricted and 15 disqualified by the High Court in 2012 as a result of application by liquidators.

A further 19 company directors were disqualified and two restricted as a result of action taken by the ODCE itself.

Irish Independent

Also in Business