Bowe from Glasnevin, Dublin, McAteer of Greenrath, Tipperary Town, Co Tipperary and Casey from Raheny, Dublin had all pleaded not guilty.
On day 89 of the longest running criminal trial in the State’s history a jury convicted Casey. They had already returned guilty verdicts on Bowe and McAteer a week earlier. The jury deliberated for a total of 65 hours.
Sentencing McAteer to three and a half years, Judge Nolan said he had authorised the transactions when he knew what he was doing was underhand, deceitful and corrupt. He said he was a respected leader of huge experience whose actions in 2008 were reprehensible.
He told Bowe that his was the chief man in Anglo’s Treasury room and he had failed to act with honesty. He told him that in law following orders was no defence. He imposed a two year sentence on Bowe, telling him the lower sentence was because he was “a lesser functionary” and not a board member.
He told Casey that he had made a grave error of judgement in authorising the transaction with Anglo. He said he was a man who should have known better. He jailed him for two years and nine months after telling him that Anglo were the authors of the scheme but that he had behaved disgracefully and reprehensibly in co-operating with it. Casey told gardaí that he only agreed to the short term loans with Anglo on condition that there was no risk to his company and that he did not know or intend that Anglo would misrepresent the loans as customer deposits.
Three senior Irish bankers were jailed on Friday for up to three-and-a-half years for conspiring to defraud investors in the most prominent prosecution arising from the 2008 banking crisis that crippled the country’s economy.
The trio will be among the first senior bankers globally to be jailed for their role in the collapse of a bank during the crisis.
The lack of convictions until now has angered Irish taxpayers, who had to stump up 64 billion euros – almost 40 percent of annual economic output – after a property collapse forced the biggest state bank rescue in the euro zone.
The crash thrust Ireland into a three-year sovereign bailout in 2010 and the finance ministry said last month that it could take another 15 years to recover the funds pumped into the banks still operating.
Former Irish Life and Permanent Chief Executive Denis Casey was sentenced to two years and nine months following the 74-day criminal trial, Ireland’s longest ever.
Willie McAteer, former finance director at the failed Anglo Irish Bank, and John Bowe, its ex-head of capital markets, were given sentences of 42 months and 24 months respectively.
“DISHONEST, DECEITFUL AND CORRUPT”
All three were convicted of conspiring together and with others to mislead investors, depositors and lenders by setting up a 7.2-billion-euro circular transaction scheme between March and September 2008 to bolster Anglo’s balance sheet.
Irish Life placed the deposits via a non-banking subsidiary in the run-up to Anglo’s financial year-end, to allow its rival to categorize them as customer deposits, which are viewed as more secure, rather than a deposit from another bank.
“By means that could be termed dishonest, deceitful and corrupt they manufactured 7.2 billion euros in deposits by obvious sham transactions,” Judge Martin Nolan told the court, describing the conspiracy as a “very serious crime”.
“The public is entitled to rely on the probity of blue chip firms. If we can’t rely on the probity of these banks we lose all hope or trust in institutions,” said Nolan.
None of the defendants reacted visibly to the sentencing before being led away by officers to Mountjoy Prison, the country’s largest and used in the past to hold Irish Republican Army prisoners.
‘GREEN JERSEY AGENDA’
Lawyers for the accused argued during the trial that their motivation in authorizing the deal was the “green jersey” agenda, the financial regulator’s request for Irish banks to support one another as the financial crisis worsened.
McAteer was convicted in 2014 of illegal lending and providing unlawful assistance to investors, but sentenced to perform community service when a judge ruled he was “led into error and illegality” by the Irish regulator.
Scandal-hit Anglo-Irish, described by Nolan as “probably the most reviled institution in the state”, was put into liquidation in 2013 and remains subject to other criminal trials.
Irish Life and Permanent was broken up during the restructuring of Ireland’s financial sector and its banking arm, permanent tsb, remains under 75 percent state ownership.
Two other Anglo-Irish bankers, chief operations officer Tiarnan O’Mahoney, 56, and former company secretary Bernard Daly, 67, earlier this year had their sentences quashed on appeal after spending several months in prison.
Banks in the United States and Britain have paid billions of dollars in fines and settlements connected to wrongdoing over their handling of subprime loans that helped cause the crisis. But no senior industry executives in those countries have been sent to jail.
(Above writing by Conor Humphries; editing by Mark Heinrich)
~– A New Twist –~
In a new legal filing to a U.S. appeals court, where he is seeking to reverse the ruling of a Massachusetts judge (who found that he had deliberately failed to disclose hundreds of thousands of dollars in asset and €870,000 cash transfers to his wife) and have debts of €10 million discharged with a declaration of bankruptcy. Drumm has accused the Anglo Irish Bank and the official overseeing his U.S. bankruptcy of a “tirade of vilification” of him to distract the court from considering his appeals arguments, and in particular, the clear testimony of “credible witnesses other than Drumm.”
Drumm is still facing two more trials, the first on Easter, 2017, while the second is scheduled for January 2018.
Both trials will be related to 33 offenses he committed during his tenure at Anglo Irish Bank as chief executive.
Testimony will be given by 120 witnesses with further evidence deriving out of minutes from approximately 15 company meetings.
According to court fillings, there are “millions of documents”, plus over 400 hours of telephone conversations as well, linking Drumm with Anglo’s dealings with Irish Life and Permanent. Via YourNewsWire: “Despite signing an affidavit which stated, in part, “that probable cause exists to believe that I committed the 33 offenses for which extradition was requested,” Drumm — considered a serious flight risk by the prosecution with the “capacity to marshal significant sums of money” despite having €8.5 million of debts — denies any wrongdoing.”
ST News: David Drumm lodges High Court action against Anglo’s former insurers for refusal to cover the legal costs of his forthcoming cases.