Irish bank scheme was "absolutely illegal", court hears
By Sarah O'Connor
DUBLIN, Feb 5 (Reuters) - Ireland's collapsed Anglo Irish
money to individuals so they could buy the bank's own shares,
prosecutors said on Wednesday.
Three former executives of Anglo Irish - former chairman and
chief executive Sean FitzPatrick and two others, Willie McAteer
and Pat Whelan - last week pleaded not guilty to charges of
providing unlawful financial assistance.
It is the first trial of bankers since the collapse of
Ireland's financial system forced the government to seek an
The three are accused of having provided loans to investors
known as the "Maple Ten" and to the wife and five children of
bankrupt businessman Sean Quinn to enable them to buy shares in
the bank, boosting its stock price. The maximum possible
sentence is five years in prison for each charge.
Paul O'Higgins, prosecuting counsel, said Anglo Irish
discovered in 2007 that a large part of it was owned by Quinn