FitzPatrick released on bail
Former Anglo Irish Bank chairman and chief executive Seán FitzPatrick has appeared in court charged with failing to disclose the true amount of his personal borrowings to the auditors of the failed bank between 2002 and 2007.
Mr FitzPatrick (64), of Whitshed Road, Greystones, Co Wicklow, was charged under section 197 of the Companies Act with knowingly or recklessly making misleading, false or deceptive statements to the bank's auditors. He was charged with making such statements on 12 occasions between 2002 and 2007.
Mr FitzPatrick, who was arrested by appointment at the Bridewell Garda station in Dublin this morning, could face penalties on indictment of a fine of up to €12,697 and/or a maximum sentence of up to five years in prison. He did not speak during the short hearing in court 2 of the Criminal Courts of Justice complex on Parkgate Street.
Det Insp Raymond Kavanagh, who is on secondment to the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement from the Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation, gave details of Mr FitzPatrick’s arrest and caution during a short hearing at Dublin District Court.
He said that when each of the 12 charges was put to Mr Fitzpatrick he replied “no comment”.
Six of the charges relate to Mr FitzPatrick knowingly excluding or failing to disclose the true amount of borrowings to him or persons close to him in statements to the bank’s auditors Ernst & Young.
Mr FitzPatrick is alleged to have authorised arrangements “to ensure that the balance of those loans would or would appear temporarily to be reduced at year-end”.
He is alleged to have made false statements to Ernst & Young in relation to a reduction to those borrowings of not less than €5.1 million on or about November 27th, 2002; and €14 million on or about November 25th, 2003.
Further such statements were made on in relation to sums of not less than €23 million on or about November 23rd, 2004; €42.1 million on or about November 22nd, 2005; €60.9 million on or about December 5th, 2006; and €139.8 million on or about November 27th, 2007.
He was also charged with six counts of failing to disclose an arrangement between Anglo Irish Bank and Irish Nationwide Building Society under which the building society loaned him money between 2002 and 2007.
Defence solicitor Michael Staines, for Mr FitzPatrick, told Judge Michael Walsh that his client had consented to coming to the Bridewell to be arrested at short notice.
Mr FitzPatrick, who was dressed in a navy suit, blue shirt and red tie, was released on bail on his own bond of €1,000.
Det Insp Kavanagh said he had no objection to bail so long as Mr FitzPatrick resided at his home address, signed on once a week at Irishtown Garda station and provided notice to the Garda of any plans to leave the State.
Judge Walsh ordered Mr FitzPatrick to appear again in court on March 1st, when he will be served with a book of evidence.