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Title: Authorities in Ireland have arrested and charged Sean FitzPatrick, the former chairman of Anglo Irish Bank Corp.
Author: Fraser Trevor
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 most senior executive to face serious charges in a long investigation into Ireland's most notorious lender that helped push the country...

 most senior executive to face serious charges in a long investigation into Ireland's most notorious lender that helped push the country into its huge debt crisis.

A Dublin court heard that Mr. FitzPatrick was arrested early Tuesday at Dublin airport after his return on an inward flight from overseas. He is indicted with helping the bank provide funds to individuals to help purchase shares in the bank. He is expected to be released on bail ahead of the next court hearing in early October.

Associated Press

A Dec. 10, 2011 file photograph of former chairman of Anglo-Irish Bank Sean FitzPatrick.

A spokesman for the law firm representing Mr. FitzPatrick, who was chief executive and then chairman of the bank, said it had no comment to make.

The charges come after a joint investigation between Ireland's Director of Corporate Enforcement and Irish fraud police, officially started about three years ago, into a bank that has cost Irish taxpayers at least €30 billion ($36.3 billion) after the country's property market crashed from 2008.

Along with other lenders, the now nationalized Anglo Irish lent huge amounts to small groups of property lenders during the country's boom years. The monumental bill facing Ireland for rescuing its banking system amounted to about €64 billion, equivalent to 40% of the country's annual economic output.

That left Irish taxpayers facing one of the world's most expensive bank-rescues. Ireland was eventually forced to strike a €67.5 billion bailout deal with the European Union and International Monetary Fund in late 2010.

A Dublin court on Monday heard indictments against William McAteer, a former finance director at Anglo Irish, and Pat Whelan, a former managing director of the bank in Ireland, that they unlawfully permitted funds to be given to named individuals to help buy shares in the bank as the lender's stock hurtled toward collapse in July 2008.

The solicitor for Mr. McAteer and Mr. Whelan have thus far made no comment on the case when contacted. Under the Irish court system the accused don't have to enter pleas at this early stage in the process.

Mr. FitzPatrick was first arrested and rereleased without charge about two years ago.

A senior judge and lawmakers have in the past criticized the time it has taken to complete investigations of Anglo Irish, which was last year merged with Irish Nationwide Building Society, and jointly renamed the Irish Bank Resolution Corp.


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