Former Anglo Irish Bank chairman Sean Fitzpatrick arrested

The former chairman of Anglo Irish Bank, Sean Fitzpatrick, has been arrested after an investigation uncovered financial irregularities at the bank.

Irish investigators have been looking into the bank’s financial dealings for the past year.

Fitzpatrick, who resigned as bank chairman in December 2008, was arrested in his home in County Wicklow at 6.30 a.m. Irish time Thursday morning and taken to Bray police station.

The Irish Times reports that members of the Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation searched Fitzpatrick’s home on Tuesday. It is believed they were searching for evidence related to the hidden loans of up to €122 million from the bank to Fitzpatrick.

Police have already seized a large quantity of computers and documents from the bank for examination.

Fitzpatrick is currently being questioned by police and may be held for up to 12 hours without charge.

A statement following his arrested read: "A man in his early 60s was detained early this morning following a search of a premises by officers from the Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation as part of the ongoing investigation "into alleged financial irregularities at a financial institution".

A separate investigation is also underway by the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement into the possibility of breaches of company law.

Further arrests are expected as the investigation continues.

If convicted Fitzpatrick could face up to 10 years in prison and/or a fine of up to €10 million.

“I have always stated there is an extensive Garda investigation under way,” said Minister for Finance Brian Lenihan.

“I have been cautious not to prejudice that investigation and am eager to see justice take its course.”
 

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