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Friday 6 December 2019

Disgraced bankers spent Christmas in open prison

Former bank bosses Willie McAteer, John Bowe and Denis Casey
Former bank bosses Willie McAteer, John Bowe and Denis Casey

Ken Foy

Three former bank executives who are serving sentences for criminal conspiracy in a €7bn market deception scheme spent the festive period in jail at Loughan House open prison in Co Cavan.

The trio are former Anglo Irish Bank executives John Bowe (52), Willie McAteer (65) and former Irish Life and Permanent (ILP) group chief executive Denis Casey (56).

None of the men was granted temporary release from the open prison - although it is not known if any of them even applied to get out over the Christmas period.

Bowe, McAteer and Casey were transferred together to the Co Cavan facility in late September after spending two months in Mountjoy Prison's training unit.

Jail sources said the three disgraced bankers had an "impeccable" behaviour record since being locked up last July.

Bowe, from Glasnevin, Dublin, McAteer, of Greenrath, Tipperary Town, and Casey, from Raheny, Dublin, had all pleaded not guilty to conspiring together and with others to defraud by setting up a €7.2bn circular transaction scheme between March 1 and September 30, 2008 to bolster Anglo's balance sheet with the intention of misleading investors.

On day 89 of the longest-running criminal trial in the State's history, a jury convicted Casey. It had already returned guilty verdicts on Bowe and McAteer a week earlier.

Jailing McAteer for three-and-a-half years, Judge Martin Nolan told him he had authorised the transactions when he knew what he was doing was underhand, deceitful and corrupt.

He told Bowe that he was the chief man in Anglo's treasury room and he had failed to act with honesty.

He imposed a two-year sentence on Bowe, telling him the lower sentence was because he was "a lesser functionary" and not a board member at the bank.

Judge Nolan told Casey that he had made a grave error of judgment in authorising the transaction with Anglo. He jailed him for two years and nine months.

In October, it emerged that the trio were to appeal against their convictions at a hearing that is due to take place in March.

The three men lodged appeals against their convictions and a hearing date was fixed for the week beginning March 6.

Mr Justice George Birmingham said a week-long appeal hearing would be "the longest appeal" since the court was established in 2014.

Irish Independent

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