Former directors are found guilty of Anglo Irish Bank plot

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Two former directors of Anglo Irish Bank, the rogue lender that crippled Ireland’s economy, have been found guilty of hatching a multi-million euro loans-for-shares plot months before the bank’s collapse.

Former chairman Sean FitzPatrick was on Wednesday cleared of all charges linked to the 619 million euro (£509m) scheme in July 2008.

Pat Whelan, of Malahide, Co Dublin, who turned 52 yesterday, and William McAteer, 63, of Rathgar, Dublin, had denied providing unlawful financial assistance to a select group of clients to buy Anglo shares from a doomed investment by former billionaire industrialist Sean Quinn.

But the pair were found guilty by unanimous decision on ten counts of providing 450 million euro loans.

The jury acquitted the ex-bankers of providing loans to six members of the Quinn fam- ily.

The 12 jurors returned the verdicts after an 11-week landmark trial and almost 17 hours of deliberation at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court – the first prosecution following the bank collapse in January 2009 that brought Ireland’s economy to its knees.

The ex-bankers face a maximum of five years in jail for each offence.

Whelan and McAteer have both been remanded on continuing bail pending a sentencing hearing on April 28.