Monday 26 February 2018

FitzPatrick and two former Anglo executives sent for criminal trials

Former Anglo chairman Sean FitzPatrick, centre, of Greystones, Co Wicklow, leaves Dublin District Court yesterday after he appeared on 16 charges
Former Anglo chairman Sean FitzPatrick, centre, of Greystones, Co Wicklow, leaves Dublin District Court yesterday after he appeared on 16 charges
Nicola Anderson

Nicola Anderson

SEAN FitzPatrick and two of his former colleagues at Anglo Irish Bank have been sent forward for trial facing charges of alleged "financial irregularities".

The former chairman and chief executive of the bank, as well as former Anglo Irish Bank finance director Willie McAteer and the bank's former managing director for Ireland, Patrick Whelan, stand accused of unlawfully providing financial assistance to clients -- including members of the Quinn family -- for the purpose of buying shares in the former institution, now known as the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC).

Judge Cormac Dunne in Dublin District Court was told the DPP had consented to send the three men forward for trial at the Circuit Criminal Court on 16 charges of providing "unlawful financial assistance" to Anglo clients in July 2008 for the purpose of, or in connection with the purchase of shares in the bank to unlawfully prop up its share price.

Volumes

The clients include the 'Maple 10' as well as the wife and five children of businessman Sean Quinn.

All three men were served the books of evidence -- nine volumes in three boxes.

Charges were brought against the three bankers in July following a three-and-a-half year probe by the Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation attached to the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement (ODCE) into alleged financial irregularities at the toxic bank, the collapse of which has cost Irish taxpayers around €30bn.

Mr FitzPatrick was accompanied by his daughter, Sarah -- the two sat close together and whispered occasionally -- and his sister Joyce, while Mr McAteer and Mr Whelan were accompanied by their wives.

When called, all three men took their seats in the dock and sat silently side by side.

Detectives from the Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation and the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement could not fit the boxes containing the books of evidence in the dock beside the defendants.

However, the judge intervened yesterday, saying there was "no need to physically personally" hand them the volumes as it didn't "make sense" -- the books of evidence could be given to solicitors instead.

The three were remanded on continuing bail and the case is listed for mention again between now and December.

Mr Whelan's conditions of bail were altered to allow him to suspend signing on weekly at a garda station during a period of travel notified to the gardai.

Judge Dunne warned them that if they intended to rely on alibis in their defence, they must notify the State and furnish the details to prosecution within 14 days.

They nodded and said "yes" to indicate they understood.

It was all over in minutes and as the men left the courtroom, the eyes of Mr FitzPatrick and Mr Whelan met in a brief glance of significance that seemed to indicate that they found the ordeal daunting.

Outside, as Mr FitzPatrick prepared to leave the court, one man who said he was homeless and wanted to hand a letter to the banker, refused garda requests to leave the area and was arrested.

Irish Independent

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