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Ex-Anglo boss not guilty on some charges

Wednesday, April 09 13:07:29

A court has found former Anglo Irish Bank Chairman Sean FitzPatrick not guilty of six charges of illegally lending money, the trial judge said today.

Judge Martin Nolan at the Circuit Criminal Court also found another former executive of the now-liquidated bank, Pat Whelan, not guilty of seven charges that he was privy to the fraudulent alteration of loan facility letters.

FitzPatrick was found not guilty of charges of having provided loans to the wife and five children of bankrupt businessman Sean Quinn to enable them to buy shares in the bank, boosting its stock price.

FitzPatrick still faces a further 10 counts of providing unlawful assistance to investors known as the "Maple Ten".

Whelan and a third former executive, Willie McAteer, are also charged with illegally lending money to both the Quinn family and the Maple Ten.

The three accused have pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Acquitting FitzPatrick on six counts of providing illegal loans to the Quinn family to buy shares in Anglo in July 2008, judge Nolan said: "I've directed not guilty verdicts in relation to six counts involving the Quinn family." He did not give further reasoning.

In February, prosecutors said that Anglo, which was put into accelerated liquidation last year and whose failure cost some 30 billion euros ($41 billion), decided to do something "absolutely illegal" by lending money to the individuals.

Ireland's banking crisis cost taxpayers more than 60 billion euros overall - about two-fifths of national output - forcing Dublin to take an emergency financial aid package in 2010 from the European Union and International Monetary Fund.