Former Irish bank executives charged with fraud

Reuters
Denis Casey, Chief Executive of Irish Life & Permanent's speaks at a Reuters news forum in Dublin
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Denis Casey speaks at a Reuters news forum in Dublin March 30, 2006 REUTERS/Fran Veale

DUBLIN (Reuters) - Three former Irish bank executives, including the ex-chief executive of one of the country's largest lenders, have been charged with conspiracy to defraud in the run-up to the country's banking crisis, a court heard on Wednesday.

Former CEO of Irish Life and Permanent, Denis Casey, the lender's former finance director Peter Fitzpatrick and former head of treasury at Anglo Irish Bank, John Bowe, were granted bail by Dublin's district court and are due to appear again next March.

All three replied "no" when the charges were put to them by police earlier on Wednesday, the court heard. They will be able to lodge an official plea ahead of their trial.

No-one has so far been jailed for any part in the country's banking crisis that began in 2008 and eventually cost taxpayers more than 60 billion euros ($82.4 billion), or about two-fifths of national output.

The charges came ahead of the opening of a trial next year of three other senior executives at Anglo Irish Bank, which was nationalized in early 2009.

A representative of the Director of Public Prosecutions told the court on Wednesday there was "no factual connection" between the two cases.

All three men are accused of conspiracy to defraud between March and September 2008, that they conspired with each other to transfer 7.2 billion euros ($9.9 billion) between Anglo, Irish Life and Permanent and its Irish Life Assurance subsidiary, Dublin's district court heard.

Irish Life & Permanent has said it had deposited between 6 billion euros and 7 billion with Anglo in September 2008 to provide "exceptional support" at a time when the world's financial sector was hit badly by the collapse of Lehman Brothers.

Irish Life and Permanent was effectively nationalized in 2011.

Bowe faces a second charge of false accounting in December 2008, under the Theft and Fraud Offences Act, the court heard. ($1 = 0.7283 euros)

(Reporting by Sarah O'Connor; Writing by Conor Humphries; Editing by Erica Billingham)

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