Wednesday 17 January 2018

Sean FitzPatrick sent for trial accused of concealing €139m worth of loans

Former Anglo Irish Bank chief executive and chairman Sean Fitzpatrick arriving at the Dublin District Court
Former Anglo Irish Bank chief executive and chairman Sean Fitzpatrick arriving at the Dublin District Court

Andrew Phelan

FORMER Anglo chairman and chief executive Sean FitzPatrick has been sent for trial on charges of failing to disclose at least €139m worth of loans to the bank's auditors.


The now-bankrupt businessman was sent for trial to Dublin Circuit Criminal Court after a book of evidence was served on him today.

He is facing a total of 12 charges in connection with financial irregularities at the toxic bank over a six-year period.

Mr Fitzpatrick (64) was returned for trial by Judge Patricia McNamara when he made his second appearance on the charges at Dublin District Court.

The accused, with an address at Camaderry, Whitshed Road, Greystones, Co. Wicklow, stepped down in December 2008. Anglo was subsequently nationalised and re-branded the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC) with its collapse costing Irish taxpayers about €30 billion.

The charges against him have been brought under Section 197 of the Companies Act 1990, and allege he failed to disclose to auditors Ernst & Young the true value of loans given to him or people connected to him, by Irish Nationwide Building Society.

Mr FitzPatrick (64) is charged with 12 offences. He stands accused that as an officer of the bank, he knowingly or recklessly made false, misleading or deceptive statements to Anglo's auditors from 2002 to 2007.

Before the brief hearing began today, gardai carried the several large cardboard file boxes containing the 12 volumes of the book of evidence into court.

Mr Fitzpatrick, wearing a navy blue suit, black overcoat, blue shirt and pink tie, and carrying a black leather-bound folder sat in the second row of the public gallery of courtroom number 2 at the Criminal Courts of justice, waiting for proceedings to begin. His case was the second in the morning's list to be called.

Detective Inspector Raymond Kavanagh of the Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation told the court the book was ready to be served.

"With the consent of the defence and the consent of the court I propose to serve Volume 1 on the defendant this morning and serve the rest on the defence", Det Insp Kavanagh said.

Judge McNamara gave Mr Fitzpatrick the formal alibi warning - that he must provide to the State within 14 days details of any alibi he intends to rely on in the course of his trial.

The accused addressed the court only by nodding to indicate that he understood the alibi caution.

After the first volume of the book was served on Mr Fitzpatrick, a new bail bond based on existing conditions was drawn up and he signed it before he left the court.

Bail had been granted in Mr FitzPatrick’s own bond of €1,000 with bail terms stating he must continue to reside at his current address, and give 48 hours' prior notice to gardai of any change of residence.

He must also sign once a week between at Irishtown Garda Station.

But this condition can be suspended in the event that he travels outside the jurisdiction subject to him notifying the gardai of an plans to travel 48 hours in advance.

The court heard there would be no change to these conditions.

Judge McNamara sent him for trial to the present sittings of the Circuit Court, on March 22.

Mr FitzPatrick has not yet indicated how he will plead to the charges.

When he was first brought to court on the charges on December 21 last, Fraud Squad Detective Inspector Raymond Kavanagh, who was on secondment to the Director of Corporate Enforcemen,t gave evidence that he arrested Mr FitzPatrick at the Bridewell Garda Station and charged him on each count.

The court heard on that date that he had replied "no comment" when each charge was put to him.

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