Former Anglo Irish Bank chairman and chief executive Sean FitzPatrick has been returned for trial accused of hiding from the bank’s auditors the true value of multimillion-euro loans.
Boxes of evidence were served by a fraud squad detective in a Dublin court yesterday morning as Mr FitzPatrick was sent forward for trial on 12 counts of breaking company law.
The bankrupt businessman has not yet indicated how he will plead and will remain on bail, but was told he cannot leave the country unless he gives 48 hours’advance notice to gardaí.
Mr FitzPatrick, who is to be tried on indictment before a jury at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court, will face his next hearing on Mar 22, Judge Patricia McNamara ordered.
At Dublin District Court on Dec 21, he faced 12 charges in connection with financial irregularities at the toxic bank over six years.
Mr FitzPatrick, aged 64, with an address at Camaderry, Whitshed Rd, Greystones, Co Wicklow, stepped down in Dec 2008, and left with a €3m pension pot.
He is accused of committing 12 offences contrary to the Companies Act.
He is facing six counts stating that, as an officer of the bank, he knowingly or recklessly made false, misleading, or deceptive statements to Anglo’s auditors, Ernst & Young, between 2002 and 2007, by under-declaring the balance on loans by at least €139m.
He also has six more charges for failing to disclose an arrangement between Anglo and Irish Nationwide Building Society, under which the building society loaned him money between 2002 and 2007.
If convicted, he could face fines of up to €12,697 and/or a maximum sentence of up to five years in prison for each offence.
State solicitor Jane Farrell told Judge Patricia McNamara that the DPP has consented to Mr FitzPatrick being returned for trial to the present term of the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.
Beside her were several white cardboard file boxes containing the evidence which the State plans to use in their bid to prosecute.
Detective Inspector Raymond Kavanagh, of the Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation, on secondment to the Director of Corporate Enforcement, said there were 12 volumes in the book of evidence, one of which was served on Mr FitzPatrick in court.
He said the remaining volumes would be handed over to defence solicitor Michael Staines.
Mr FitzPatrick has not yet indicated how he will plead to the charges, and it is likely to be several months before his trial gets under way.
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