herald

Monday 27 February 2017

FitzPatrick arrested in Anglo bank fraud probe

DISGRACED banker Sean FitzPatrick was arrested this morning as part of the investigation into financial irregularities at Anglo Irish Bank.

Mr FitzPatrick presented himself at Bray Garda Station shortly before 8am today -- the second time that he has been arrested and questioned by fraud squad detectives.

Officers applied to the district court for a warrant to arrest the former Anglo director.

Mr FitzPatrick (62) resigned from the bank on December 18, 2008. Over a period of eight years up to 2007, Mr FitzPatrick temporarily transferred loans of up to ¤129m from Anglo Irish Bank before the annual audit.

Today's arrest is part of the long-running investigation into financial irregularities at Anglo.

The investigation is being carried out alongside the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement -- which has sent three files to the DPP.



Released

Mr FitzPatrick was questioned twice in connection with alleged fraud at the institution but was released on both occasions without charge.

Today's development follows the arrest of the bank's former finance director Willie McAteer last month.

Mr McAteer was detained at his Rathgar home by members of the Fraud Squad before being released the following day.

Government-appointed investigators have already found that Mr FitzPatrick hid from shareholders the existence of his massive, mounting personal loans for eight years.

Mr FitzPatrick, who served as Anglo's chief executive from 1986 to 2005 and thereafter as chairman, transferred tens of millions' worth of loans each year into the accounts of another bank, Irish Nationwide, days before Anglo published its annual accounts.

The loans would be transferred back into Anglo's private books immediately afterward.

This was detected when outside investigators began examining Anglo's debt portfolios as part of an October 2008 government decision to insure all the deposits and debt obligations of Irish banks.

Mr FitzPatrick became the first member of Ireland's so-called "golden circle" of elite businessmen to be arrested in the spectacular fallout from the collapse of the property market.

A spokesperson for the Garda Press Office said: "A man in his 60s has been arrested in connection with an investigation into alleged financial irregularities at a financial institution. He is being held under section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act at Bray Garda Station."

hnews@herald.ie

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