A former Anglo Irish Bank employee denied to gardaí she was involved in a conspiracy to conceal bank accounts from Revenue as part of a tax evasion scheme.
Aoife Maguire, along with two former senior Anglo managers, is accused of holding back certain off-shore bank accounts connected to former chairman Seán FitzPatrick, from the Revenue and of trying to delete records of the accounts from the bank's computer system.
Ms Maguire (62) of Rothe Abbey, South Circular Road, Kilmainham, Dublin, Former chief operations officer Tiarnan O'Mahoney (56) of Glen Pines, Enniskerry, Co Wicklow and former company secretary Bernard Daly (67) of Collins Avenue West, Whitehall, Dublin have pleaded not guilty to seven counts at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.
It is alleged that they hid or omitted accounts, connected to Mr FitzPatrick from Anglo’s Core Banking System (CBS) or from documentation provided to Revenue between 2003 and 2004.
Det Garda Eoin Browne told prosecuting counsel Kerida Naidoo BL at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court he interviewed Ms Maguire about the allegations in October 2013.
Ms Maguire told gardaí she started with Anglo in 1987 as a typist when it was known as City of Dublin Bank. She said that between 2003 and 2009 she worked on the bank’s IT helpdesk but was sometimes given other tasks to do.
She agreed she was asked to help provide a list of accounts to Revenue in 2003. At the time Revenue were auditing the bank for possible unpaid Deposit Interest Retention Tax (DIRT) on bogus non-resident accounts.
Ms Maguire said she wasn’t appointed to “a team” but it was one of the many groups of people she was assigned to over the years. She said she didn’t really answer to anyone during the task.
She said her role was to go through lists of files to check for non-resident paperwork. If no paperwork was present a letter would be sent to the customer, she said.
Asked if she found many non-resident accounts, she said that she couldn’t remember but that “a good few” letters were sent out. She said she “wouldn’t know” if Anglo held non-resident accounts for bank employees.
Gardaí showed Ms Maguire an email from 2003 in which she stated she was working for Mr O’ Mahoney. She said in interview she didn’t know why she said this as she never worked directly for Mr O’Mahoney.
She said she worked in departments with Mr O’Mahoney but there were always several people between them. She said they weren’t friends but that Mr O’Mahoney gave her a job in his new company ISTC after she left Anglo.
Gardaí referred to another email thread from January 2004 in which Ms Maguire discussed two accounts in the name of Mr FitzPatrick’s brother-in-law, John Peter O’Toole. The emails were between the accused and James Shaw from the IT department.
Ms Maguire said she couldn’t recall the email thread and that she didn’t know who Mr O’Toole was. She said she doesn’t remember issuing instructions to the IT department to delete the accounts and that she doesn’t remember who told her to send the email.
Asked if she was concerned about emails sent by her referring to accounts which were deleted from the CBS, Ms Maguire replied she was.
Ms Maguire denied sending another email to an IT worker asking him to update an audit trail so it would appear that no amendments were made to the accounts.
Gardaí put another email to Ms Maguire in which she refers to an account number belonging to the Sean FitzPatrick/Crohan O’Shea Trust. Gardaí said this account was also deleted from the CBS.
Ms Maguire said she didn’t remember the email and wasn’t aware of the account. She denied she was “covering or protecting someone”.
She said she couldn’t offer an explanation for why she was linked to emails discussing deleted accounts and she never instructed staff to delete accounts. She also denied being instructed to do so by others.
Gardaí put it to Ms Maguire that she was engaged in a conspiracy to conceal or destroy accounts which were sought by Revenue.
“I was not,” she replied.
In a second interview, gardaí put it to Ms Maguire that she was instrumental in deleting six accounts from the bank’s record system. They said an IT worker said she had ordered him to delete the accounts.
Ms Maguire said she never approached that worker to do anything and she doesn’t know why he would claim this.
Gardaí said someone either asked her or directed her to have the accounts deleted. Ms Maguire replied that this may have happened but she didn’t remember it.
She said Mr FitzPatrick had never ordered her to do anything in the bank. She said she didn’t socialise with him but would have spoken to him as Mr FitzPatrick “spoke to everyone.”
The trial continues on Monday before Judge Patrick McCartan and a jury of six men and six women.