Seán FitzPatrick jurors told not to serve if they had bank shares

Former Anglo Irish Bank chairman pleads not guilty to charges of failing to disclose loans

Former Anglo Irish Bank chairman Seán FitzPatrick arriving at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court on  Tuesday. Photograph: Courts Collins.

Former Anglo Irish Bank chairman Seán FitzPatrick arriving at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court on Tuesday. Photograph: Courts Collins.

 

The jury has been sworn in for the trial of former Anglo Irish Bank chairman Seán FitzPatrick who is accused of failing to disclose the true value of multi-million euro loans to the bank’s auditors.

Mr FitzPatrick pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court on Tuesday to charges connected with failing to disclose the true value of loans given to him or people connected to him by Irish Nationwide Building Society from 2002 to 2007 while he was an officer of Anglo Irish Bank.

Mr FitzPatrick (66), of Whitshed Road, Greystones, Co Wicklow, is charged with 27 offences under the 1990 Companies Act including 21 charges of making a misleading, false or deceptive statement to auditors. The other six charges are of furnishing false information.

Judge Mary Ellen Ring read out a list of 76 witnesses to the jury panel including Alan Dukes from the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation; Fintan Drury and Matt Moran, both formerly of Anglo Irish Bank; and Stan Purcell, former chief financial officer of Irish Nationwide Building Society.

She said if anyone knows anyone connected to the case or to Mr FitzPatrick or his solicitors they should not serve as a juror.

The judge said that persons who have expressed themselves in public on the internet or social media including Facebook or Twitter on issues concerning Anglo Irish Bank, or the banking crisis or bankers in general should not serve.

The judge also said that anyone who was a customer of Anglo Irish Bank or had shares in the bank or in other banks in the State should not serve.

She also excluded anyone who had worked as professionally qualified accountants or auditors or was connected to regulation of auditors or accountants.

The judge told the jury panel: “The requirement is to come to the jury service in an impartial fashion. You will be obliged to take an oath or affirmation to well and truly try the issue as to whether Mr FitzPatrick be guilty or not guilty. That’s all you’re asked to do”.

Mr FitzPatrick is accused of failing to disclose to Anglo’s auditors, Ernst and Young, the true amount of loans to him or people connected with him. The prosecution claims he authorised arrangements to ensure that the balance of those loans would be reduced or appear to be reduced at the end of the bank’s financial year and failed to tell the auditors about those arrangements.

He’s also accused of failing to tell the auditors about arrangements between Anglo Irish Bank and Irish Nationwide Building Society in connection with loans to him by Irish Nationwide.

Finally he’s accused of producing financial statements about the value of loans to Anglo’s directors which failed to include the true amounts outstanding by him to the bank.

The trial is to start next Monday and is expected to contiune until May 28th.