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29th Jul 2016

Three Irish bankers jailed for €7 billion Anglo Irish Bank fraud

The sentences range from two to three-and-a-half years

Three former bankers were sentenced to prison today for their part in the cover up of €7 billion at Anglo Irish Bank.

Willie McAteer, the former executive of Anglo Irish, has been sentenced to three-and-a-half years in jail, while fellow executive John Bowe was sentenced to two years. Denis Casey, the former group executive of Irish Life and Permanent, has been jailed for two years and nine months.

The trial, which lasted 89 days, was the longest running criminal trial in the history of the state.

Judge Martin Nolan, when handing down the sentence, said that the actions of the men in relation to the €7 billion fraud was “dishonest, deceitful and corrupt” and added “there is no other way to describe it.”

 

Here’s how twitter are responding to the announcement

It’s a funny one alright – considering that the jail time for an abortion in this country carries a 14 year sentence.

To recap what this case is all about: in 2008, during the global financial collapse when the world’s economy essentially crumbled, and countries found themselves in crippling debt, these three Irish bankers were desperate to make Anglo Irish Bank look healthier than it actually was.

So, in order for them to look like they were turning a profit, they set up what is called a ‘circular scheme’ with another bank, Irish Life and Permanent (ILP). This meant that the Anglo bankers could send billions to ILP, and ILP could send it straight back to them.

However, when the money was being sent back to Anglo it was sent via Irish Life Assurance, which made it look like the money was deposited by customers, which is seen as better measure of a bank’s strength.

You may well remember hearing about the now infamous phone calls that these men made to each other in the days leading up to the bailout.

They were published by the Irish Independent in September 2008, and uncovered that John Bowe had misled the Financial Regulator.

Anglo, of course, was bailed out, and the rest is history. Irish tax payers bore the brunt of the fiscal responsibility, unemployment rose, young people emigrated, and people lost their homes and livelihoods.