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Anglo pair in court to face sentencing for illegal loan scheme

Willie McAteer and Pat Whelan will find out today if they are to face a jail term.

Former Anglo Irish Bank executive Pat Whelan
Former Anglo Irish Bank executive Pat Whelan
Image: Brian Lawless/PA Wire/Press Association Images

TWO FORMER EXECUTIVES at Anglo Irish Bank will find out today if they face a jail term, a suspended sentence or fines for an illegal loans scheme designed to save the institution from the brink of collapse in 2008.

Pat Whelan and Willie McAteer were found guilty of illegally lending more than €450 million to a group of 10 clients – well-known property developers – to prop up the bank’s share price.

The so-called Maple 10 were asked to draw down the loans to buy shares in the bank, which would unwind Seán Quinn’s 25 per cent Anglo stock.

The pair are the first bankers to be convicted under Section 60 of the Companies Act. They are also the first to be prosecuted in the wake of the country’s banking crisis.

McAteer, 63, was the group finance director in July 2008 when the Maple 10 deal was completed. Whelan, who turned 52 on the day he was convicted, was the head of group risk.

They are due to appear at the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court this afternoon for a sentencing hearing. The maximum penalty they could receive is a five-year jail term and a €3,000 fine for each offence – both were found guilty of 10 separate charges.

However, it is unlikely that Judge Martin Nolan will inflict the harshest penalties, given some of his comments throughout legal argument in the trial.

He indicated to the men’s counsel that, on conviction, he could take the role played by the financial regulator as a mitigating factor.

Justice Nolan noted that the regulator not only knew about the scheme, but also did nothing to discourage or stop it. He also went on to say that the watchdog seemed “somewhat relieved” about the deal, because it rectified the CFD issue.

Both Whelan and McAteer were found not guilty in relation to charges over loans given to the Quinn family.

Former chairman Seán Fitzpatrick was found not guilty on all charges related to the Maple 10 and the Quinn family.

The Anglo verdicts are in…but what next for the banking inquiry, David Drumm and Seán Fitz?

Waiting game at the Anglo trial: ‘You never can guess when a jury will make up their mind’

Ireland sees first bankers convicted of giving illegal loans

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