Belfast Telegraph

Anglo Irish pair face fraud charges

Two former senior executives at rogue lender Anglo Irish Bank have been charged in Ireland with a string of fraud offences over a failed insider trading scam.

Willie McAteer and Pat Whelan could face up to five years in jail for each of the 16 charges of advising and lending millions to a golden circle of investors to falsely inflate Anglo's share price.

The two bankers are the first to have been charged with white collar crime linked to a financial collapse which brought the economy to its knees.

A shocked looking McAteer, Anglo's 61-year-old former finance director from Rathgar, south Dublin, was arrested on the N7 at Rathcoole on the outskirts of the city.

His one-time boardroom colleague and alleged co-conspirator, Whelan, 50, Anglo's former managing director of lending in Ireland, was detained at his home in Malahide, north Dublin.

Both are charged with 16 counts under section 60 of the Companies Act. They are accused of giving unlawful financial assistance in connection with the purchase of Anglo shares in July 2008.

Neither man spoke when charged, room No.1 in Dublin's Criminal Courts of Justice was told. The two accused were bailed on a 1,000 euro bond of their own money and a 10,000 euro independent surety put up by their respective wives.

McAteer's wife Maria kissed him on the cheek in the hallway outside the court after bail was secured. The couple and their son left the complex escorted and shielded by members of the fraud squad before being bundled into a taxi.

A tanned looking Whelan wore a smart grey and navy suit with an open neck blue shirt and was accompanied by his wife Sharon for the short hearing at Dublin District Court.

The two accused were bailed to appear before the District Court again on October 8 where books of evidence will be presented and the courts will move towards setting a trial date.

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