Three former bank executives have been sentenced to prison terms ranging from two years to three and a half years for a €7.2bn conspiracy to defraud in September 2008.
Former Anglo Irish Bank executives John Bowe and Willie McAteer and the former chief executive of Irish Life and Permanent, Denis Casey, were found guilty last month of agreeing a scheme to mislead the public about the true health of Anglo.
Judge Martin Nolan sentenced Bowe to two years, McAteer to three and a half years and Casey to two years and nine months.
He described what they had done as “reprehensible” and the conspiracy as very serious.
All three were convicted of conspiring together and with others to mislead investors, depositors and lenders by setting up a €7.2bn circular transaction scheme between March and September 2008 to bolster Anglo’s balance sheet.
Irish Life placed the deposits via a non-banking subsidiary in the run-up to Anglo’s financial year-end, to allow its rival to categorise them as customer deposits, which are viewed as more secure, rather than a deposit from another bank.
The judge also strongly criticised Anglo Irish Bank’s accountants at the time, Ernst & Young.
He said it beggared belief that they had signed-off on Anglo’s interim accounts, published in December 2008, as “true and fair” if they knew the true situation.
And he said it seemed incomprehensible to him that they did not know the situation.
He said they were a major accountancy firm whose job it was to help Anglo with its accounts and to protect the public.
They should have known the true situation at least by the end of October 2008 if they had been doing their job properly, he added. He said he did not know if it was blindness or wilful blindness.