Anglo trial: Two ex-bank directors guilty on 10 counts

Pat Whelan and William McAteer found not guilty on six charges relating to Quinn family


Two former directors of Anglo Irish Bank have been found guilty of providing unlawful financial assistance to 10 businessman to buy shares in the bank.

After almost 17 hours of deliberation, the jury found William McAteer (63) of Rathgar, Dublin; and Pat Whelan (52) of Malahide, Dublin, guilty of 10 counts of providing unlawful financial assistance to 10 individuals, the Maple 10, in July 2008 to buy shares in the bank, contrary to Section 60 of the Companies Act.

Mr McAteer and Mr Whelan were found not guilty of six counts of providing unlawful financial assistance to six members of the Quinn family.

Former chairman of the bank Seán FitzPatrick (65) of Greystones, Co Wicklow, was acquitted of all allegations brought against him yesterday.

The trial centred on a deal to unwind businessman Sean Quinn’s holding in Anglo.

The court had heard that by July 2008 Mr Quinn’s contracts for difference (CFDs)- investment products based on share price — were equivalent to more than 28 per cent of the bank’s shares.

This was a serious concern for the bank as it was feared if the CFDs were unwound in an uncontrolled manner it would have a negative effect on the bank’s share price.

A deal was devised which involved providing loans to 10 of the bank’s customers, known as the Maple 10, to buy just over 1 per cent each of the shares underlying the CFDs with six members of the Quinn family buying 15 per cent of the shares.

The Maple 10 borrowed €45 million each while the Quinns borrowed €169 million.

The deal was executed on July 14th, 2008. Judge Martin Nolan thanked the jury for their service and exempted them from duty for 10 years. He remanded the two men on bail pending sentencing.