Quinn: Anglo chiefs knew bank was in trouble when they offered millions

Seán Quinn has claimed Anglo Irish Bank executives were aware the bank was in serious trouble in late 2007 at a time when they were willing to offer him hundreds of millions of euro to cover his investment in Anglo.

The one-time richest man in Ireland gave evidence at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court yesterday that he would never have bought one share in Anglo if he had known of problems with the bank.

During the trial of three former Anglo executives, Mr Quinn revealed he had sought legal advice from a firm of British lawyers after Anglo’s share price had once fallen 20% in a few days because of his fears that there was “some sweetheart deal”.

The 66-year-old Quinn Group founder, who was declared bankrupt in 2012, said he had also sought information about Anglo from the financial regulator Patrick Neary.

He said that the regulator had always offered “total assurance that Anglo was extremely strong”.

Former Anglo chairman Seán FitzPatrick and two other former Anglo executives, Pat Whelan and William McAteer, are accused of providing unlawful financial assistance to Mr Quinn, his five children and 10 others to buy shares in Anglo in July 2008.

All three have pleaded not guilty to all 16 charges. Mr Whelan has also denied seven charges of being privy to fraudulently altered loan facility letters.

Yesterday, Mr Quinn outlined the background to his infamous investment in Anglo. He admitted his reluctance to unwind his investment in Anglo, despite suffering heavy losses, was due to his belief that the bank’s share price would rebound.

The trial heard that the Quinn Group had lost a total of €3.2bn on its investment in the bank.

Mr Quinn accepted his own role in events, admitting at one stage: “I was a fool.”

The trial continues.

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