Tuesday 24 October 2017

No extra jail time for McAteer despite guilty plea

Former Anglo Irish Bank executive Willie McAteer. Photo: Collins Courts
Former Anglo Irish Bank executive Willie McAteer. Photo: Collins Courts
Shane Phelan

Shane Phelan

Former Anglo Irish Bank executive Willie McAteer has been sentenced to two-and-a-half years for fraudulent trading.

But the former finance director will not serve any additional jail time because the sentence will run concurrently with a three-and-a-half year term he is already serving for conspiracy.

Mr McAteer (66), of Greenrath, Tipperary town, Co Tipperary, had pleaded guilty to fraudulently obtaining an €8.2m loan from Anglo in 2008.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court Judge Martin Nolan described the offence as "a serious crime" which could not be excused by the pressure bank executives were under.

McAteer got the loan so he could avoid having to sell 3.3 million shares he had in Anglo. The former banker had financed the purchase of the Anglo shares with borrowings from Bank of Ireland.

But there was a clause in the agreement which meant Bank of Ireland could sell the shares without consulting McAteer if they fell below a certain value.

The shares fell below the value threshold in September 2008 and an Anglo executive committee feared it would be catastrophic if they were sold.

It decided to lend McAteer €8.2m so he could clear his debts with Bank of Ireland.

But the court heard that solution amounted to fraudulent trading on the part of McAteer.

The court heard that the maximum sentence that could be imposed was one of seven years.

But Judge Nolan sentenced him to two-and-a-half years and said he had to take into account McAteer's age, his guilty plea and the fact he would be impoverished when he left prison.

Irish Independent

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