Friday 23 February 2018

Sean FitzPatrick released on bail after facing fresh charges

Breda Heffernan

Breda Heffernan

FORMER Anglo Irish Bank chairman Sean FitzPatrick has been remanded on bail after appearing in court on fresh charges relating to breaches of company law.

The bankrupt 64-year-old was told he would only be allowed to leave the country if he gave gardai 48 hours notice.

Mr FitzPatrick arrived at the Bridewell garda station in Dublin city centre by appointment yesterday morning, where he was formally charged with 12 counts of giving false, misleading or deceptive statements to the bank's auditors, Ernst & Young, between 2002 and 2007.

He is charged with making two false statements each year over the six-year period by failing to declare loans given by the bank to him or persons connected with him and failing to disclose loans from Irish Nationwide Building Society.

The value of the loans ranges from €5.1m in 2002 to €139.8m in 2007.

He was charged under section 197 of the Companies Act (1990), which makes it an offence to knowingly or recklessly make a false or misleading statement to auditors.

Each offence comes with a penalty of a fine up to a maximum of €12,697 and/or up to five years in prison.


These charges are unrelated to the 16 other recent charges which have been brought against Mr FitzPatrick under Section 60 of the Companies Act.

In those proceedings, he is accused 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.

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

Shortly before midday yesterday Mr FitzPatrick, of Whitshed Road, Greystones, Co Wicklow, was brought before Judge Michael Walsh at Dublin District Court.

Dressed in a navy suit and red tie, the former banker sat with his arms crossed during the brief hearing.

Detective Inspector Raymond Kavanagh told the court that the accused replied "no comment" when each of the charges were read to him.

Mr FitzPatrick's solicitor, Michael Staines, put it to Det Insp Kavanagh that his client had met gardai at short notice and by request.

This was agreed by the witness.

Gardai said they were not objecting to bail provided that certain conditions were met.

The conditions include that Mr FitzPatrick must continue to reside at his current address.

He is to notify gardai in advance if he changes his address, and he must sign on once a week at Irishtown garda station. Det Insp Kavanagh said the signing-on condition could be lifted in the event that the former banker leaves the jurisdiction.

Judge Walsh remanded Mr FitzPatrick on his own bail of €1,000 and adjourned the case to March 1, when the book of evidence will be presented.

Shortly after the court hearing concluded, Mr FitzPatrick left the Court of Criminal Justice with his solicitor and walked to a taxi.

Irish Independent

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