Sunday 21 January 2018

Trial of former Anglo Irish Bank chairman Sean FitzPatrick due to start next week

Sean Fitzpatrick
Sean Fitzpatrick

By Declan Brennan

The trial of former Anglo Irish Bank chairman Sean FitzPatrick will not now begin in evidence before next Tuesday.

A jury of six men and six women was formed at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court a fortnight ago. The trial has been in legal argument since then and the jurors have been notified a number of times that the opening of the trial before them would be delayed.

Mr FitzPatrick (66) of Whitshed Road, Greystones, Co. Wicklow has pleaded not guilty to 27 offences under the Companies Act, 1990. These include 21 charges of making a misleading, false or deceptive statement to auditors and six charges of furnishing false information.

The charges are in connection with the disclosure of loans allegedly given to him or people connected to him by Irish Nationwide Building Society from 2002 to 2007 while he was an officer of Anglo Irish Bank.

The trial was listed for up to six weeks with the jurors originally told that it would run until May 28.

During the empanelment of the jury earlier this month around 31 people were excused from jury service after giving reasons to the judge in private. The jury includes a housewife, a child care worker, a self employed property manager, a self employed computer programmer, an out of work IT worker, an engineer and a carpenter.

Mr FitzPatrick is accused of failing to disclose to Anglo’s auditors, Ernst and Young, the true amount of loans to him or people connected with him.  

The prosecution claims he authorised arrangements to ensure that the balance of those loans would be reduced or appear to be reduced at the end of the bank’s financial year and failed to tell the auditors about those arrangements.

He’s also accused of failing to tell the auditors about arrangements between Anglo Irish Bank and Irish Nationwide Building Society in connection with loans to him by Irish Nationwide. 

Finally he’s accused of producing financial statements about the value of loans to Anglo’s directors which failed to include the true amounts outstanding by him to the bank.

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