Two guilty of Anglo Irish Bank plot

Two guilty of Anglo Irish Bank plot

Two former directors of the Anglo Irish Bank, the rogue lender that crippled Ireland's economy, have been found guilty of hatching a multi-million Euro loans-for-shares plot months before the bank's demise.

Pat Whelan, 52, of Malahide, Co Dublin and William McAteer, 63, of Rathgar, Dublin, had denied providing unlawful financial assistance to a select group of clients to buy Anglo shares from a doomed investment by former billionaire industrialist Sean Quinn.But the pair were found guilty by unanimous decision on ten counts of providing €450m loans.The jury acquitted the ex-bankers of providing loans to six members of the Quinn family.The 12 jurors returned the verdicts after an 11-week landmark trial and almost 17 hours of deliberation at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court - the first prosecution following the bank collapse in January 2009 that brought Ireland's economy to its knees.The ex-bankers face a maximum of five years in jail for each offence.Judge Martin Nolan thanked the seven women and five men on the jury for their work and exempted them for further jury service for 10 years.Whelan and McAteer have been remanded on continuing bail pending a sentencing hearing on 28 April.The landmark case of a boom-to-bust bank was the first time anyone has been prosecuted under section 60 of the Companies Act in Ireland.The state's case against the bankers was that the loans were extraordinary business and in contravention of that law.On Wednesday, former chairman Sean FitzPatrick was cleared of all charges linked to the €619m scheme in July 2008.The verdicts draw to a close just one aspect of complex fraud investigations focusing on the turbulent months before Anglo was nationalised in January 2009 at a cost to Irish citizens of about €30bn.


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