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Anglo Irish Bank: Former executives jailed over fraud

Willie McAteer, John Bowe and Denis Casey were convicted last month after the longest trial in Irish criminal history Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Willie McAteer, John Bowe and Denis Casey were convicted last month after the longest trial in Irish criminal history

Two former executives of the notorious Anglo Irish Bank have been jailed in Dublin after being convicted of conspiracy to defraud.

John Bowe and Willie McAteer misled depositors, lenders and investors by making the bank's corporate deposits look larger than they were.

McAteer has been sentenced to three-and-a-half years and Bowe to two years.

Co-conspirator Denis Casey, the former chief of Irish Life and Permanent, was given two years and nine months.

The fraud involved so-called circular transactions, which were designed to disguise the true state of the bank's financial health.

Dishonest

In 2008, Anglo loaned 7.2bn euros (£6bn) to ILP, which then placed the same sum back with Anglo.

The transactions were accounted for on Anglo's end-of-year balance sheet as customer deposits rather than an inter-bank loan.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Anglo Irish Bank had to be rescued by the Irish government in 2009, costing Irish taxpayers about 30bn euros (£23bn)

Deposits are a key factor in assessing the market's and consumer confidence in a bank.

The prosecution said the accounting had been a "dishonest scheme" designed to mislead the people who would be looking at the bank's published accounts.

Rescued

Sentencing the men, the judge said: "By means that could be termed dishonest, deceitful and corrupt they manufactured 7.2bn euros in deposits by obvious sham transactions.

"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."

Anglo Irish Bank had to be rescued by the Irish government in 2009.

The bailout cost Irish taxpayers about 30bn euros (£23bn).

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