TWO FORMER top executives at Anglo Irish Bank were charged with 16 counts of fraud yesterday, as part of a long-running fraud investigation into the failed lender.
Former finance director Willie McAteer, and former managing director Pat Whelan faced the same set of charges relating to loans given to rich clients to purchase shares in the bank.
This so-called golden circle of clients included famous property tycoons and Ireland’s former richest man Sean Quinn, who lost billions of euros when Anglo Irish was bailed out.
If they are found guilty they both face sentences of up to five years in prison, plus fines of as much as €3,000. Both executives made bail and are required to return to court on 8 October when evidence will be heard.
The investigation into fraudulent activity at the bank, recently renamed the Irish Banking Resolution Corporation, has been going on for over three years, led by the police and Ireland’s Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement.
The state is slowly winding the firm down, after it came into state hands in a 2008 taxpayer bailout costing €30bn – almost half of the total cost of bailing out the sector.