Former Anglo staff deny hiding accounts linked to Fitzpatrick
Three former Anglo Irish Bank officials have gone on trial accused of hiding accounts connected to former chairman Sean FitzPatrick in an alleged tax evasion scheme.
Ex-Anglo company secretary, Bernard Daly (65) of Collins Avenue West, Whitehall, Dublin, former Chief Operations Officer Tiarnan O'Mahoney (54) of Glen Pines, Enniskerry, Co Wicklow and Aoife Maguire (60) of Rothe Abbey, South Circular Road, Kilmainham, Dublin have pleaded not guilty to seven alleged offences committed in 2003 and 2004.
During the trial opening the prosecution told the jury that the case revolves around non-resident bank accounts held by Anglo. The Revenue were investigating such accounts to see if they were bogus and if Deposit Interest Retention Tax (Dirt) was owed on them as a result.
Mr O'Mahoney and Mr Daly are alleged to have supplied a list to Revenue of non-resident accounts held by Anglo which didn't include one account held by John Peter O'Toole, who the court heard is a brother-in-law of Mr FitzPatrick. Ms Maguire, Mr Daly and Mr O'Mahoney are also accused of asking Anglo's IT department to delete records of two accounts in the name of Mr O'Toole from the Core Banking System (CBS)
Mr O'Mahoney and Ms Maguire are further alleged to have concealed records relating to six other accounts which were either connected to Mr FitzPatrick or to Mr O'Mahoney.
The court heard a task group was set up within Anglo in 2003 to co-operate with Revenue's investigation.
The prosecution alleges that Ms Maguire was assigned to the group by Mr O'Mahoney to influence the deletion of records related to the account connected to Mr FitzPatrick.
Outlining the background to the prosecution, counsel said that in the late 1990s and early 2000s Revenue were concerned that some Irish people had set up fake non-resident accounts to avoid Dirt tax.
Anglo told Revenue that it held no non-resident accounts. Revenue later offered an amnesty to holders of bogus accounts which resulted in many people coming forward, including several who held such accounts with Anglo. As a result Revenue conducted an audit on Anglo and obtained a court order in March 2003 directing the bank to provide a list of its non-resident accounts.
A team was set up in Anglo by Mr Daly, with Mr O'Mahoney in a supervisory role, to provide these lists. Ms Maguire was put on the team but she worked separately from them and reported only to Mr O'Mahoney.
Counsel said she was put on the team to influence attempts to hide references to the accounts of Mr O'Toole.
The prosecution say Mr Daly and Mr O'Mahoney also approached other members of the team asking them to omit Mr O'Toole's account from the lists. When these team members refused they were reassigned.
The trial will hear its first witness today before Judge Patrick McCartan and a jury of six men and six women.