Seán FitzPatrick leaves court in Dublin today. Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

FitzPatrick and two other former Anglo execs sent forward for trial

Seán FitzPatrick and two other former executives of Anglo Irish Bank appeared in court in Dublin today as they each face 16 charges of providing unlawful financial assistance four years ago.

THREE FORMER ANGLO Irish Bank executives, each charged with 16 counts of providing unlawful financial assistance, have appeared in court in Dublin today where their case was sent forward for trial at the Circuit Criminal Court.

The now defunct bank’s former CEO and chairman Seán Fitzpatrick, former finance director Willie McAteer, and former MD of Irish operations Patrick Whelan appeared in the dock in court one of Dublin District Court today where they were served with the books of evidence.

They each face 16 charges under company law of providing unlawful financial assistance to bankrupt businessman Seán Quinn’s five children and his wife Patricia as well as 10 other people in July 2008.

Nine boxes – three for each individual – were served on the trio with officials from the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement and the Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigations leaving the boxes beside the three former bankers as they sat in the dock.

As they were doing this, the judge intervened saying that “it doesn’t make sense” to leave the boxes in the dock beside the men, advising officials to instead hand the boxes over to the three accused’s solicitors.

In contrast to his last appearance in court where he was wearing beige trousers and a navy jacket, FitzPatrick today appeared in a dark suit with a light blue shirt and pink tie, McAteer appeared in a dark suit, light blue shirt and a light blue tie with pink dots.

Whelan also wore a dark suit with a light blue, open-neck shirt.

McAteer and Whelan were both accompanied by their wives. FitzPatrick appeared in court with his sister and his daughter. The three former bankers sat separately as they waited to be called.

After being called to the dock just after 11am this morning, they sat beside each other, McAteer smiling while the boxes of evidence were briefly left beside him before being moved, while FitzPatrick remained stone-faced with his arms crossed.

A solicitor for Whelan asked the court if her client’s signing on condition in his bail terms be suspended during any period of travel where authorities have been notified.

The judge agreed to this and requested that all three men sign their bail bonds before they left.

The matter was sent forward to the Circuit Criminal Court where it is expected to be heard before Christmas.

The charges the men face relate to loans that Anglo Irish Bank – now Irish Bank Resolution Corporation – gave to 10 customers known as the “Maple 10” and to the five children of bankrupt Quinn and his wife to buy shares in the bank in July 2008.

It was hoped this would prop up its share price and public confidence in the bank.

The “Maple 10′ are Paddy McKillen, Séamus Ross, Brian O’Farrell, John McCabe, Gerard Maguire, Patrick Kearney, Gerard Conlon, Gerard Gannon, Seán Reilly and Joseph O’Reilly.

Anglo Irish Bank collapsed in January 2009 and the government has so far pumped some €30 billion into the nationalised bank to cover losses incurred from lending during the boom.

FitzPatrick, McAteer and Whelan are the first people to face charges in connection with the bank’s collapse.

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Video: Seán FitzPatrick leaves court after case sent for trial

Read: Introducing Anglo’s Golden Circle and the Maple 10

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