Former Chief of Anglo Irish Bank charged

One of the Irish bankers blamed for the Republic's financial and property crash has appeared in court charged with 16 offences of financial irregularity. Sean Fitzpatrick head of the Anglo Irish Bank that almost bankrupted Ireland and one of the most publicly loathed figures in the Republic has been arrested in Dublin.

He was accused on Tuesday of allowing the bank to give financial assistance to 16 clients that enabled them to buy shares in the financial institution. After facing the charges, related to breaches of the Irish Republic's Companies Act, Fitzpatrick was granted bail to appear in court again on 8 October to have documents served against him.

DS Brian Mahon of the Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation (GBFI), on secondment to the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement, told the court that when he arrested Fitzpatrick he cautioned him and asked him if he understood. Fitzpatrick replied: "I do." Mahon told the court that Fitzpatrick replied "no comment" to each of the 16 charges.

The court heard the Irish director of public prosecutions has directed that Fitzpatrick should be tried on indictment, which means his case will also be sent forward to the circuit criminal court.

Fitzpatrick is one of the most notorious of a cabal of bankers at Anglo who lent billions to property tycoons and investors including Ireland's one time richest man Sean Quinn. It was Quinn's entry into the global property market courtesy of Anglo Irish Bank loans that brought down his business empire and led to him owing the bank around €2bn (£1.55bn).

Quinn's son is currently being held in a jail in the Irish midlands while a warrant has been issued for the arrest of his nephew Peter Darragh Quinn. All three of them were found guilty last week of contempt of court for failing to provide up to €500bn from properties the now state-owned Anglo Irish Bank alleges they hid in a complex web of investments across the globe.


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