Irish Republican News · July 30, 2016
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
Light sentences for Anglo fraudsters


Three former Irish bank executives have been sentenced to combined prison terms of just eight years three months despite being found guilty of committing one of the biggest financial crimes in world history.

Judge Martin Nolan described the 7.2 billion euro conspiracy to defraud in September 2008 as “reprehensible”, but his light sentences will only strengthen Ireland’s reputation as a haven for white-collar crime.

Former Anglo Irish Bank executives John Bowe and Willie McAteer and the former chief executive of Irish Life and Permanent, Denis Casey, were found guilty last month of agreeing a scheme to fool the public about the true health of Anglo-Irish Bank.

Judge Nolan sentenced Bowe to two years, McAteer to three and a half years and Casey to two years and nine months.

All three were convicted of conspiring together and with others to mislead investors, depositors and lenders by setting up circular transactions between March and September 2008 to convince investors that Anglo was a viable company.

The judge also strongly criticised Anglo Irish Bank’s accountants at the time, Ernst & Young, and said it beggared belief that they had signed off on Anglo’s interim accounts, published in December 2008, as “true and fair”.

He said it seemed incomprehensible to him that they did not know the situation, but notably made no recommendations for action against the firm.

The sentences are shorter than those of a man recently jailed for four years for stealing over 178,000 euro through a fictitious car sales scheme, and also shorter than the six year term applied to another businessman who evaded an EU tax on garlic imports by describing his garlic as fruit.

In his sympathetic remarks, the judge noted that the men failed to make any direct profit from their crimes. He said they had suffered badly, they had lost their positions and been subjected to public odium and ridicule. He also gave them 28 days to lodge notice of an intention to appeal their convictions or sentences or both.

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