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Ex-Anglo Irish Chairman Fitzpatrick Charged for Hiding His Loans

Former Anglo Irish Bank Corp. Chairman Sean Fitzpatrick was charged with hiding personal loans of as much as 139.8 million euros ($184.5 million) from the auditors of the now-nationalized bank.

Fitzpatrick, 64, appeared in court in Dublin today after being charged with breaches of Irish company law for providing “misleading, false or deceptive” declarations to auditors Ernst & Young between 2002 and 2007 that failed to give the true amount of his borrowings, according to court documents filed by prosecutors today. Under his authorization, the private loans “would appear temporarily to be reduced at year-end.”

Fitzpatrick and two other one-time Anglo Irish directors were ordered on Oct. 8 to stand trial in relation to loans to 16 clients to buy shares in the bank in 2008. The former banker resigned in December that year after saying he failed to disclose some loans from the bank.

Fitzpatrick said at the time that while the transactions “were inappropriate and unacceptable from a transparency point of view,” they did not breach banking or legal regulations.

Fitzpatrick was remanded on bail until March 1, when the so-called book of evidence will be presented to the court. His solicitor Michael Staines didn’t immediately return calls to his office seeking comment on the charges.

Anglo Irish bankrolled many of the developers who helped fuel the real estate bubble that collapsed in 2008. The state took over the bank in 2009, and sought an international bailout a year later to help meet the 29.3 billion-euro cost of averting its collapse.

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