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Former top bankers in court over e7bn fraud

Sarah Stack

Three former top bankers have been charged with conspiracy to defraud linked to e 7 billion (£5.87bn) of deposit transfers allegedly made to prop up Anglo Irish Bank's books.

Denis Casey and Peter Fitzpatrick, former senior executives at Irish Life and Permanent (IL&P), and former Anglo executive John Bowe were granted bail at Dublin District Court.

The court heard the three accused all said "No" when charged at Bridewell Garda Station in the city centre yesterday morning.

They are accused of transferring e 7.2bn between Anglo, IL&P and Irish Life Assurance between March 1 and September 30 2008, for the purpose of dishonestly creating a false impression and misleading existing and prospective depositors and investors that the bank had received larger deposits.

Mr Bowe, former director of capital markets at the former Anglo Irish Bank, faces a second charge of false accounting under the theft and fraud act.

Mr Casey is the former chief executive of the former IL&P while Mr Fitzpatrick was once finance director at the bank.

Judge Patricia McNamara freed all three on bail to reappear in court on March 12 when the book of evidence will be served.

Mr Casey and Mr Fitzpatrick resigned from IL&P in February 2009 following allegations that the bank helped Anglo prop up its balance sheets with e 7.2bn in short-term deposits at the end of September 2008, near the financial year end. Each of the accused agreed to a personal bond of e 1,000 and must sign on at a Garda station one day a week.

Mr Casey's brother Alan, Mr Fitzpatrick's wife Maria and Mr Bowe's wife Frances Feron also offered an independent surety of e 10,000 which will be frozen in their accounts instead of being lodged to the court.

Anglo was nationalised in 2009 and later rebranded to the Irish Bank resolution Corporation and then liquidated this year.

The three co-accused were arrested by arrangement in the capital yesterday morning and charged by Detective Inspector Gerry Walsh of the Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation.

They stood side by side behind a glass screen in the courtroom after being brought up from holding cells as he gave details of their arrest and charge.

The court heard that Mr Bowe (50) was a married father-of-three who had lived in the family home in Glasnevin, north Dublin, for 20 years.

Arguing that his client was not a flight risk, solicitor Dara robinson said Mr Bowe had been involved in the investigation since 2009 and had not made "a penny piece" arising from the charge.

Mr Bowe must sign in at Mount-joy Garda Station each Sunday, while Mr Casey (54), of raheny, north Dublin, must sign in at Blanchardstown Garda Station every Sunday.

Mr Fitzpatrick (61), of Malahide, north Co Dublin, must sign in at his nearest Garda station every Wednesday.

All three were ordered to give 48 hours' notice when travelling outside the jurisdiction, except Mr Fitzpatrick when he travels to Northern Ireland for family reasons.

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