Anglo Irish executives face trial in Dublin

Former chairman, former finance director and former chief financial officer face a total of 16 charges

One of the biggest trials in Irish legal history begins today when three former bankers face charges of trying to inflate the share price of the now-defunct lender Anglo Irish Bank.

Sean FitzPatrick, the former chairman and one-time chief executive, former finance director Willie McAteer and former chief financial officer Pat Whelan face a total of 16 charges.

The charges are linked to alleged loans of 451 million euro (£350 million) to the family of bankrupt former billionaire Sean Quinn, including his wife Patricia and son Sean junior, and a golden circle of 10 clients hand-picked to invest in stock to prop up the share price.

Anglo Irish Bank's share price collapsed in 2008 and a secret stock market gamble by Mr Quinn unravelled. The one-time tycoon had quietly built up a 25% stake in the bank using contracts for difference - a trade deal to shield the true identity of the buyer. The deals allow investors to gamble in the hope a share price rises and reap huge gains. If the value goes south, however, the investor is liable for massive losses.

Anglo's share price reached an all-time high of 17.53 euro (£14.41) in 2007, but later that year the credit crunch began to bite and rumours spread in financial circles that Anglo was in trouble.

The bank was ultimately nationalised in January 2009. The Irish government stepped in following commitments made the previous September under the bank guarantee scheme and the bailout cost 29 billion euro (£24 billion). Anglo was subsequently rebranded the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation and then liquidated last year.

The three men are due before court 19 of the Criminal Courts of Justice in Dublin for a trial that is expected to last four months - one of the longest-running criminal trials in Irish history.

FitzPatrick, 64, McAteer, 62, and Whelan, 50, have been charged with 16 counts of providing unlawful financial assistance to individuals in July 2008 to buy shares in the bank.

The maximum sentence for each offence is five years in jail, with the lower end of the sentencing scale a fine of 3,100 euro (£2,500).

All three entered not guilty pleas last Friday.

Additional reporting agencies

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
newsAnother week, another dress controversy on the internet
Life and Style
Scientist have developed a test which predicts whether you'll live for another ten years
health
Life and Style
Marie had fake ID, in the name of Johanna Koch, after she evaded capture by the Nazis in wartime Berlin
historyOne woman's secret life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
News
news... and what your reaction to the creatures above says about you
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Ashdown Group: Junior Application Support Analyst - Fluent German Speaker

£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A global leader operating...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisor

£15000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Customer Service Advisor is r...

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey / South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

SThree: HR Benefits Manager

£40000 - £50000 per annum + pro rata: SThree: SThree Group have been well esta...

Day In a Page

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn