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Ex-Anglo officials hid accounts from taxman, jury told

Closing speeches are taking place in the trial of three former Anglo officials.

ANGLO IRISH BANK officials were trying to hide accounts from Revenue because of their connection to chairman Sean FitzPatrick and the concern that they could be liable for tax, a jury had been told.

In his closing speech to the jury in the trial of three former Anglo officials, Dominic McGinn SC said that Mr FitzPatrick is not on trial and jurors do not have to come to any verdict on his guilt or innocence.

Former Chief Operations Officer Tiarnan O’Mahoney (56) of Glen Pines, Enniskerry, Co. Wicklow, former company secretary Bernard Daly (67) of Collins Avenue West, Whitehall, Dublin and former assistant manager Aoife Maguire (62) of Rothe Abbey, South Circular Road, Kilmainham, Dublin have pleaded not guilty to seven counts at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court .

It is alleged that they hid or omitted accounts, connected to Mr FitzPatrick from Anglo’s Core Banking System (CBS) or from documentation provided to Revenue, who were conducting an investigation into bogus non-resident accounts which may have been liable for Deposit Interest Retention Tax.

Mr McGinn told Dublin Circuit Criminal Court that Mr FitzPatrick was connected to each of the deleted or altered accounts in various ways and that this provided the motive for the three accused to conceal them from Revenue.

15/6/2015. Aoife Maguire Court Cases Aoife Maguire at the CCJ. Source: Photocall Ireland

The accounts are alleged to have been concealed at the same time Revenue were investigating the bank for holding bogus non-resident accounts which may have been liable for Deposit Interest Retention Tax (DIRT).

“While that was happening a decision was made to hide these accounts because of the connection to Sean FitzPatrick and concern they may lead to tax liability,” Mr McGinn said.

Counsel said when the investigation started, the first concern of those in charge was to stop the account of Mr FitzPatrick’s brother-in-law, John Peter O’Toole, being disclosed to Revenue.

The court heard Mr O’Toole lived in Australia at the time. Counsel said this account may appear to have been a genuine non-resident account but that does not mean that it wasn’t bogus.

Mr McGinn said evidence shows that transactions were being made on the account in Dublin while the owner was living abroad. He said Mr FitzPatrick was making lodgements to it and that Mr O’Toole’s mother seems to have been operating the account.

Unusual practices

Counsel said there were unusual practices going on with the O’Toole account including evidence that it was used to trade stock during the periods when bank directors were barred from trading. He also said there were large sums of money transferred in and out of the account near the time of the bank’s year end returns.

Mr McGinn said Mr FitzPatrick and Mr O’Mahoney tried to stop the bank’s head of compliance Brian Gillespie from returning the O’Toole account to Revenue. He said there were further attempts to change details on the accounts before the decision was made to delete them altogether.

The prosecution case is that Mr Daly was centrally involved in selecting and managing the team which was assigned to provide details of certain non-resident accounts to Revenue during their investigation.

Counsel said Ms Maguire was on this team but worked separately to the others and that the evidence was that she reported directly to Mr O’Mahoney.

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Counsel said Mr O’Mahoney was also involved in setting up the team. He told the jury that Mr O’Mahoney asked the team leader, Zita Madden, if she would be willing to delete an account if asked and that she was removed from the team when she said she was uncomfortable with the request.

15/6/2015. Bernard Daly Court Cases Bernard Daly at the CCJ Source: Photocall Ireland

Mr McGinn said the ultimate act of conspiracy was the archiving of six accounts so that they would not be visible on the bank’s computer system. All these accounts were connected to Mr FitzPatrick, including one which was originally called the Sean FitzPatrick/Crohan O’Shea trust before it was changed to simply Crohan O’Shea Trust.

Two additional accounts, called Carnahalla Ltd, were not archived but their details were altered on the system, counsel said. The court heard Mr O’Mahoney was involved in one of these accounts as he took out a loan, along with Mr FitzPatrick, using the account to do a share deal.

Mr McGinn said Ms Maguire instructed IT staff to delete the six accounts but that like Ms Madden and Mr Gillespie, they were uncomfortable doing this. Instead they archived the accounts which meant they would appear to be deleted to would still be recoverable.

Counsel said Ms Maguire was “centrally involved” in making these changes and that there were email records to show this.

The prosecution has finished its closing speech and counsel for Mr O’Mahoney will now address the jury.

Read: Anglo officials in court accused of hiding records linked to Sean FitzPatrick

Read: A trial of Anglo officials ran out of jurors today

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Denis Tobin

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