Monday 23 April 2018

Trial hears FitzPatrick was concerned about his 'mate's name on Revenue list

Trial of three former Anglo officials continues

Sean Fitzpatrick
Sean Fitzpatrick

By Conor Gallagher

Former Anglo Irish Bank official Sean FitzPatrick mentioned the name Denis O’Brien to a bank official who was helping Revenue investigate non-resident accounts in the bank, a trial had heard.

The Circuit Criminal Court has heard that Mr FitzPatrick was concerned about the name of his “mate” being included on a list of non-resident account holders in Anglo Irish Bank which was due to be submitted to the Revenue Commissioners in 2003.

However, the bank's former head of compliance, Brian Gillespie, told the court that he was able to reassure Mr FitzPatrick that the name on the list was a different man with the same name as the well-known businessman.

The trial of three former Anglo officials accused of taking part in a tax evasion scheme by hiding accounts from Revenue heard that Mr Gillespie was appointed in 2003 to find and submit non-resident accounts to Revenue which may have been liable for Deposit Interest Retention Tax (DIRT).

Mr Gillespie told the trial today that Mr FitzPatrick, who was then CEO of the bank, called him up to his office on several occasions to discuss the inclusion of a non-resident account belonging to his brother-in-law, John Peter O’Toole, in the investigation.

Mr Gillespie said Mr FitzPatrick was trying to make it clear to him that the O’Toole account was a genuine non-resident account.

The witness said that he replied that he had to return it to the Revenue because it was within the scope of the investigation as laid out in a High Court order.

He said that Mr FitzPatrick told him he “was losing sleep” over the matter.

“He did not at any stage give me any instruction but intentionally or otherwise he conveyed to me that he did not want the account reported. He didn’t instruct me but it was clear to me what he wanted,” Mr Gillespie told Brendan Grehan SC who is defending Tiarnan O’Mahoney.

The witness said that in another meeting Mr FitzPatrick mentioned the name “Denis O’Brien” and referred to him as “my mate Denis.”

He said this was mentioned in the general context of the names being reported to Revenue and that perhaps Mr FitzPatrick had read the name on a list on accounts being submitted to Revenue.

Counsel asked the witness if he was able to offer Mr FitzPatrick any reassurance. Mr Gillespie replied that he was.

He told the court: “I didn’t believe and I don’t believe for a second that it was the Denis O’Brien that most people have in their head when they think of Denis O’Brien. It was a different individual who was a genuine non-resident in the UK. I don’t believe it was the more well-known Denis O’Brien.”

He said that Mr FitzPatrick told him he was “being a bit naive”.

Former company secretary, Bernard Daly (65) of Collins Avenue West, Whitehall, Dublin, former Chief Operations Officer Tiarnan O'Mahoney (54) of Glen Pines, Enniskerry, Co. Wicklow and Aoife Maguire (60) of Rothe Abbey, South Circular Road, Kilmainham, Dublin have pleaded not guilty to seven alleged offences committed in 2003 and 2004.

The three are accused of trying to delete references to two accounts in the name of John Peter O'Toole, Mr FitzPatrick's brother-in-law, from Anglo's Core Banking System (CBS).

Mr Daly and Mr O'Mahoney also deny omitting the name of Mr O'Toole from a list provided to the Revenue Commissioners of people who held non-resident accounts worth more than €100,000 in 1995.

Mr O'Mahoney and Ms Maguire further deny attempting to delete six other accounts, connected to Mr FitzPatrick, from the CBS.

Online Editors

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

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News