Jury's out on whether we'll see more white-collar crime cases
Pat Whelan and William McAteer have been convicted for illegally lending money to the Maple 10. This is a breach of Section 60 of the Companies Acts, an obscure and technical provision which prevents companies from providing financial assistance for the purchase of their own shares.
Their co-accused, Sean Fitzpatrick, had already been acquitted on all charges on Wednesday. Unlike Whelan and McAteer, Fitzpatrick was a non-executive director of Anglo Irish Bank and was not involved in its day-to-day management at that time.
The trial of these three well-dressed, middle-aged men has attracted attention far beyond what might be expected for offences that carry a penalty of up to five years imprisonment. However, while the fascination with criminal trials often focuses on sensational and salacious evidence in court, even the most enthusiastic observer would find it difficult to feign interest in the complicated evidence presented throughout this trial.