Belfast Telegraph

Irish banker McAteer arrested by Anglo probe fraud squad officers

Willie McAteer is set to become the first banker prosecuted over the collapse of the toxic Anglo Irish Bank in 2008-2009.

McAteer, an executive in the former rogue lender, is due in court in Ireland on fraud charges.

Anglo's former finance director was arrested this morning by fraud squad officers investigating financial irregularities at the bust bank.

It is the third time he has been detained over the long-running inquiry.

McAteer is due before the Dublin District Court this afternoon.

Anglo, the favoured bank of property speculators and developers, was nationalised in 2009 after a massive share price collapse.

Its rescue has cost the Irish taxpayer about 30 billion euro (£23 billion).

McAteer has been at the centre of an investigation involving the Garda bureau of fraud investigation and the business watchdog, the director of corporate enforcement.

One inquiry was linked to a deposit transfer scam involving Anglo and the then Irish Life & Permanent (IL&P) where about 7 billion euros was moved to mask big customer deposit withdrawals. IL&P has since been split to divide the pensions group from the debt-laden mortgage lender Permanent TSB.

Another investigation focused on a specific loan given by Anglo to a former director and a 450 million euro loans-for-shares deal.

McAteer was chief risk officer at Anglo.

A second man will appear at the District Court charged in relation to the investigation, the garda press office confirmed.

It is understood the second man arrested had a key role in lending decisions at the bank.

The charges relate to a failed attempt to prop up Anglo's share price after a stock market collapse.

Money was given out by the bank to a select group for the purchase of shares in the bank as its value plummeted in 2008.

McAteer's charges were brought under section 60 of the Companies Act.

Sean Quinn senior, who was spared jail despite being found in contempt over the asset-stripping of his property portfolio, has claimed his family have been made scapegoats and treated "like dogs".

The rags-to-riches tycoon has claimed that the "real perpetrators" continue to walk free.

Justice Minister Alan Shatter urged people to allow for due process.

"It is important that due process now takes place and that nothing is said which could in any way prejudice the outcome of the criminal prosecutions that have been initiated," he said.

Belfast Telegraph


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