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What offences might the DPP charge Drumm and FitzPatrick with?

THE OFFENCE: Making gain or causing loss by deception

WHAT IT COVERS: This broad, catch-all offence is one of the best routes for prosecutors to carry home a white-collar conviction. Under the Criminal Justice (Theft and Fraud Offences) Act, 2001, a person who dishonestly makes a gain or causes a loss by deception has committed a crime.

PENALTY: A maximum five years' jail if convicted after a jury trial and a fine.

DRAWBACK: It has yet to be used in a major corporate criminal trial -- because there have not been any.

THE OFFENCE: Market Abuse and Insider Trading

WHAT IT COVERS: Under the EU-wide Markets Abuse Directive, seven types of behaviour can amount to market abuse including insider dealing, which is also outlawed in Irish company law. Others include manipulating transactions such as the buying or selling of shares to drive the stock price, and not giving full information or disseminating misleading information.

PENALTY: Up to 10 years in prison and fines of up to €10m. DRAWBACK: The market abuse directive has never been tested in Irish law and there has never been an insider trading conviction in Ireland.

THE OFFENCE: Breaches of Company law

WHAT IT COVERS: This is the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement's terrain. Potential charges that may be brought include breaches of directors' loans and failing to declare such loans as well as failing to keep proper books of account. Company directors can face up to five years in prison if company laws were broken with their knowledge or consent.

THE PENALTY: Maximum penalty is five years if convicted following a jury trial.

DRAWBACK: The ODCE has never secured a conviction that has resulted in a jail term upheld by the courts.

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