A former official with the National Asset Management Agency (Nama) who is facing jail for leaking potentially commercially sensitive information told investigators he thought he was advancing the interests of the agency.
Enda Farrell (40) sent confidential information about the Nama valuation of hundreds of properties to named individuals in the investment companies QED Equity Ltd and Canaccord Genuity.
The tranches of records covered properties from major developers, Nama’s hotel portfolio and properties in Germany.
Mr Farrell, of La Reine, Avenue Louise, Brussels, Belgium and formerly of Dunboyne, Co Meath, appeared at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court on Thursday.
After hearing the evidence Judge Karen O’Connor said she wanted time to consider the appropriate sentence and adjourned the case to May 12th. She remanded Mr Farrell on continuing bail.
Earlier this month, Mr Farrell pleaded guilty to intentionally disclosing to Stewart Doyle of QED Equity Ltd by email on May 17th, 2012 confidential information from Nama relating to the Cosgrave Group when he did not have the authority to do so.
Lists of properties
In court on Thursday, he admitted seven other offences of unlawfully disclosing information, in breach of the Nama Act 2009, between May and July 2012. He faced 13 charges in total and the court heard evidence relating to 12 of them.
Mr Farrell had access to huge amounts of highly confidential information which were potential commercially valuable, Det Garda Gareth Lynch from the Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation said.
The leaked information included lists of properties that had been taken into Nama and valuations placed on them in November 2009. The properties included those linked to developer Paddy McKillen, the O'Flynn Group, Harcourt/Pat Doherty and the Cosgrave group.
One tranche of information sent by Mr Farrell included valuations of hundreds of hotels owned by different developers sent to Kenneth Rouse in QED Ltd.
Mr Farrell, a married father of three, did not profit from the disclosures and Nama was not at a loss as a result of them, Det Garda Lynch said.
Michael Bowman SC, defending, said once the offences emerged his client lost his job and was left destitute by civil proceedings. He has compromised his future employment prospects by actions based on poor judgment, counsel said.
Counsel said he rather naively said that he was only seeking to further Nama’s interests and objectives in disseminating the records.
Kerida Naidoo, prosecuting, said it was not part of the prosecution case that Mr Farrell had advantaged himself by his actions or that his actions compromised Nama’s ability to do its business.
Det Garda Lynch agreed with Mr Bowman that Mr Farrell was very co-operative with the
once the investigation began.
The court heard Mr Farrell came under enormous pressure while carrying out his valuation role in Nama.
“He was working 12-hour days, seven days a week. He was stuck in the middle between the banks and Nama,” counsel said.
Mr Bowman said that a culture grew in Nama where people became desensitised to the confidential nature of information.
He said that when his client brought the pressures he was under to the attention of his bosses he was told to “just get on with his job”.