Tuesday 12 December 2017

Anglo's loan for shares scheme 'obviously and spectacularly' not in normal course of business, court hears

Council for prosecution Paul O’Higgins SC at court
Council for prosecution Paul O’Higgins SC at court
Sarah Stack

Sarah Stack

ANGLO Irish Bank’s loan for shares scheme was obviously and spectacularly not in the ordinary course of business, the prosecution has claimed.

The trial of three Anglo executives was told a striking part of the case is that €60m loans to 10 high net worth customers was a “done deal” notwithstanding the bank’s credit standing.

Closing the prosecution’s case, Paul O’ Higgins SC said the borrowings were for the benefit of the bank, not the borrowers, and the deal carried out to shore up anticipated problems with Anglo’s share price.

The prosecution barrister said if the three co-accused knew the loans were illegal under section 60 of the Companies Act they should have said, and if they did not know they should have known.

“Ignorance of the law is no excuse,” he said.

Mr FitzPatrick (65), from Greystones, Co Wicklow, Pat Whelan (51), of Malahide, Co Dublin and William McAteer (63), of Rathgar in Dublin all deny 10 counts of providing unlawful financial assistance to net worth Anglo clients – known as the so-called Maple 10 - in July 2008 to buy shares in Anglo.

The loan-for-shares deal involved unwinding Mr Quinn’s secret 29pc stake in the bank, build up through contracts for difference (cfds).

Mr Whelen and Mr McAteer also deny six counts each of providing unlawful financial assistance to six members of the Quinn family.

Judge Martin Nolan yesterday directed Mr FitzPatrick was not guilty of the six charges relating to the Quinns, while Mr Whelan has been found not guilty of seven charges in connection with a facility letter.

The ex-banker had denied the charges which alleged he was privy to the fraudulent alteration of loan facility letters to seven individuals.

Mr O’Higgins said everything in the case was “topsy turvy” and claimed documentation supporting the loans were bogus.

“The prosecution case is that almost everything about this scheme makes it a scheme obviously and spectacularly not in the ordinary course of business,” he said.

The trial, which is in its tenth week at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court, continues.

Online Editors

Promoted Links

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Promoted Links

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News