Belfast Telegraph

Friday 9 October 2015

Disgraced FitzPatrick: 'I did not flee'

Published 01/04/2010

Disgraced Irish banker Sean FitzPatrick last night denied he had fled abroad to escape a garda investigation and public ire over the multi-billion Euro bank bailout.

Mr FitzPatrick (61) said suggestions he had left the country for good were “ridiculous”.

The former Anglo Irish Bank chairman made the comments as the now nationalised institution announced the largest losses in corporate history, at €12.7bn for the 15 months up |to the end of last year.

Speaking by mobile phone, Mr FitzPatrick confirmed he was abroad, but refused to say where he was. He has previously been seen in an upmarket |district of Marbella in Spain.

Mr FitzPatrick refused to comment on his arrest by gardai or his financial future.

The former banker left Ireland despite facing the prospect of being rearrested as part of a garda probe into affairs at the bank.

Mr FitzPatrick was questioned for over 24 hours in custody last month by officers from the Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation. The questioning focused on the €7.45bn of deposits which were moved between Irish Life and Permanent and Anglo Irish in September 2008.

Gardai released him without charge and said a file would be prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions. Just days before his arrest, Anglo Irish began legal proceedings against him in a bid to recover €70m in loans from the bank. Mr FitzPatrick has since sought court protection against creditors under the 1988 Bankruptcy Act.

Among those gardai also wish to speak to is former Anglo Irish chief executive David Drumm, who is now living in the USA.

It is likely officers will invite Mr Drumm to return to Ireland to assist with their inquiries.

Gardai and the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement have been investigating a number of issues at the bank including the concealment from shareholder of loans, at one stage totalling €129m, to Mr FitzPatrick for eight years and the controversial loan of €450m to a “golden circle” of 10 bank clients so they could buy a 10% share in the bank.

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