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Sunday 18 February 2018

DPP close to making a decision on Anglo Irish criminal prosecutions

Paul Appleby: director of
the ODCE
Paul Appleby: director of the ODCE

Tom Brady Security Editor

A DECISION on criminal prosecutions in the long-running Anglo Irish Bank investigation is expected to be taken by the DPP before the end of the summer.

Senior gardai are hopeful that it will result in a number of suspects being brought before the courts.

Two investigations are being carried out --one by the Garda National Fraud Bureau and the other by the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement (ODCE).

Corporate Enforcement director Paul Appleby disclosed yesterday that his office has now sent nine files to the DPP, Claire Loftus.

The move means that she can now press ahead with their study of the garda and ODCE files in tandem.

It is expected that a major conference involving senior officers from the two agencies and DPP officials will be held during the summer and a decision will then be taken on criminal prosecutions.

In the meantime, a number of "loose ends" are likely to be tidied up as the files come under close scrutiny by lawyers in advance of the conference and additional information might be sought by the DPP's office.

Fraud-bureau officers have been working on DPP queries over the past couple of months and the ODCE said yesterday its staff was available to address any queries they might receive.

The ODCE sent its initial two files to the DPP in March and December last year and these dealt with Anglo supplying money to a so-called "golden circle" to purchase its shares, which is a suspected offence under company law.

A further two were sent in January and March of this year on its inquiries into the refinancing of some directors' loans close to the Anglo end-of-year reporting date.

Another two, probing the provision of a loan to a director, a suspected offence of fraudulent trading, were submitted in December 2010 and December 2011.

Two more were sent in August and December last year on its inquiries into the failure of Anglo to maintain a register of loans to its directors.

Fraud

The final file dealt with the content of financial and other public statements made by Anglo, which aroused concerns of inadequate disclosure under company law.

The garda fraud bureau sent a file last year on short-term back-to-back-deposits of about €7.4m received by Anglo in September 2008. Its second file focused on the provision of funds by Anglo to a group of people for the purchase of its shares in July 2008. It was investigated as possible market abuse.

Meanwhile, Justice Minister Alan Shatter said he shared the sense of frustration at the length of time that investigations of this type could take, but it was important now that nothing be said which would in any way risk prejudicing any criminal proceedings that might arise.

He said Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan had confirmed that the investigation was substantially complete and officers continued to work closely with the DPP as a matter of priority.

Irish Independent

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