Willie McAteer sentenced to 3 1/2 years in prison

Former Anglo finance director

Willie McAteer sentenced to 3 1/2 years in prison

Willie McAteer

Willie McAteer (65), a native of Rathmullan, has been sentenced to three and a half years for his part in a fraudulent scheme to prop up Anglo Irish Bank's finances.

The bank's former finance director who now resides in Tipperary, appeared at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court today (Friday), along with former collleague John Bowe (52) and Denis Casey (56), former Group Chief Executive of Irish Life and Permanent plc (ILP)

All three pleaded not guilty earlier this year to conspiring together and with others to defraud by setting up a €7.2 billion circular transaction scheme between March 1st and September 30th, 2008 to bolster Anglo’s balance sheet with the intention of misleading investors. The trial lasted 89 days, making it the longest ever criminal trial in Ireland.

Judge Martin Nolan said the scheme was "deceitful, dishonest and corrupt" and it was a serious matter that two blue chip companies conspired to manipulate public accounts.

Judge Nolan was also highly critical of Anglo CEO David Drumm, the Financial Regulator and Anglo's auditors Ernst & Young.

Mr McAteer was convicted in 2014 for his role in Anglo making illegal loans to ten property developers so they could buy shares to boost Anglo's share price. He completed 240 hours community service in lieu of a 2 year prison sentence for that offence.

None of the three men sentenced today profited from their actions, the court heard, and the inter bank loans had cancelled each other out so there had been no loss to the State.

David Bowe was sentenced to two years in prison and Denis Casey to two years and nine months.