Director cleared over £5.6m Anglo Irish Bank fraud

Anglo Irish bank
Image caption On Wednesday, the jury convicted two former senior Anglo Irish Bank employees

A jury has acquitted the former finance director of Irish Life and Permanent (ILP) of helping Anglo Irish Bank defraud the markets in 2008 in a 7.2bn euros (£5.6m) scheme.

Jurors at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court returned a not guilty verdict for Peter Fitzpatrick, 63, after nearly 47 hours deliberating.

Mr Fitzpatrick, of Convent Lane, Portmarnock, held his head in his hands and wept after the verdict was read out.

Deliberations are continuing on the only remaining accused on the indictment, Denis Casey, 56, from Raheny, Dublin, who was formerly the CEO of ILP.

On Wednesday, the jury convicted Anglo's former head of capital markets, John Bowe, 52, of Glasnevin, Dublin, and the bank's then finance director, Willie McAteer, 65, from Raheny, Dublin, of conspiring to mislead investors, depositors and lenders about the true health of Anglo.

They have been remanded on bail pending sentence until 25 July.

All four men were accused of conspiring together and with others to mislead investors by setting up a 7.2bn euro circular transaction scheme between March and September 2008 to bolster Anglo's balance sheet.

The prosecution case was that Anglo lent money to ILP and ILP sent the money back, via their assurance firm Irish Life Assurance, to Anglo.

The scheme was designed so that the deposits came from the assurance company and would be treated as customer deposits, which are considered a better measure of a bank's strength than inter-bank loans.

Irish Life and Permanent was broken up during the restructuring of the sector and its banking arm, permanent TSB, remains under 75% state ownership.

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