Former Anglo chief FitzPatrick charged


THE FORMER chairman and chief executive of Anglo Irish Bank has been charged with unlawfully providing financial assistance to 16 investors to buy shares in the institution four years ago.

Seán FitzPatrick (64), Whitshed Road, Greystones, Co Wicklow, appeared at Dublin District Court yesterday charged with 16 offences under section 60 of the Companies Act.

The charges relate to loans provided by Anglo in July 2008 to a group of investors – 10 customers known as the “Maple 10” – and to the five children of bankrupt businessman Seán Quinn and his wife Patricia, and to Mrs Quinn.

Det Sgt Brian Mahon of the Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation, who is on secondment to the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement, gave evidence of the arrest. He told Judge Cormac Dunne that Mr FitzPatrick was arrested by arrangement at Dublin Airport at 5.37am yesterday. He was detained under section 4 (3) of the Criminal Law Act 1997 and taken to the Bridewell Garda station in central Dublin.

Det Sgt Mahon told the court that when he arrested Mr FitzPatrick, he cautioned him and asked him if he understood why he was being arrested. Mr FitzPatrick replied: “I do.”

Mr FitzPatrick is accused of allowing the bank to give “unlawful financial assistance” to 16 individuals for the purpose of or in connection with their purchase of shares in Anglo Irish Bank Corporation, now known as Irish Bank Resolution Corporation.

The charges allege that the unlawful financial assistance was provided between July 10th and 17th, 2008, to 15 people.

They were named in the charges as Aoife Quinn, Brenda Quinn, Ciara Quinn, Colette Marie Quinn and Seán Quinn jnr, as well as Patrick McKillen, Séamus Ross, Brian O’Farrell, John McCabe, Gerard Maguire, Patrick Kearney, Gerard Gannon, Gerard Conlan, Seán Reilly and Joseph O’Reilly.

It is also alleged that between July 17th and 30th, unlawful assistance was provided to Patricia Quinn.

When the charges were individually put to Mr FitzPatrick at 8.08am, Det Sgt Mahon said Mr FitzPatrick replied “No comment” to each of them.

Mr FitzPatrick did not speak during the eight-minute hearing, which began at 11.15am.

Defence solicitor Michael Staines, for Mr FitzPatrick, told the court that once his client became aware gardaí were seeking him, Mr FitzPatrick made contact with them through his solicitor and arranged to meet them.

There was no objection to bail for Mr FitzPatrick but Det Sgt Mahon sought the setting of a €10,000 independent surety.

Judge Dunne agreed to grant Mr FitzPatrick bail on a bond of €1,000 and the independent surety. This was stood by Mr FitzPatrick’s sister, Joyce O’Connor.

Mr FitzPatrick was ordered by Judge Dunne to sign on every Wednesday at Irishtown Garda station. He was also asked to give gardaí 48 hours notice if he planned to leave the jurisdiction.

Judge Dunne ordered Mr FitzPatrick to appear in court again on October 8th, when he is to be served with books of evidence and returned for trial.