The Irish police have recommended that the ten businessmen who were loaned money Anglo Irish Bank to buy shares in the crumbling institution broke no laws and will not be charged.
This news came at a perfect time as earlier this week Fine Gael accused the government of dragging their feet on white-collar crime.
Michael Noonan, Fine Gael financial spokesperson said “Why are we still waiting on a garda file on the Anglo investigation?" He compared the Irish situation to the swift prosecutions for such crimes in the United States.
The group, now being called “The Anglo Ten” or “The Golden Circle”, committed no crime when they accepted loans from the bank buy stakes of ten percent during a critical financial period.
After an 18-month investigation, files will be sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) as the investigation in to executives at Anglo Irish Bank continues. The Office for the Director of Corporate Enforcement is investigating the transaction. In all there are at least 15 other criminal matters to be investigated.
The identity of the ten people who accepted these loans has never been disclosed. The group is expected to include top developers and business people who would have been long-term customers with Anglo Irish Bank.
In 2008 the “Golden Circle” of investors was assembled by Anglo Irish Bank. This was just after the insurance tycoon, Sean Quinn, had bought a 25 percent stake in the bank. He was seeking to reduce this by 15 percent. If this 10 percent had been let go it would have flooded the market and driven down the price of the share further destabilizing the already broken bank.
Anglo handpicked “The Anglo Ten” and offered their loans totaling $589 million.
Sean FitzPatrick, former chairman of the bank, has been arrested and questioned about the transaction. He is also being investigated over the $114 million in personal loans he took out over eight years.
Also arrested were Willie McAteer. David Drumm, the bank’s former chief executive has also arranged a meeting with Irish police when he returns from his home in Chapham, Cape Cod, MA, where he has been living with his wife since last year.
Vandals desecrate Virgin Mary statue in Northern Ireland in apparent sectarian attack