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PROSECUTIONS EXPECTED IN BANK INQUIRY

Up to 15 people could face prosecution arising out of the main investigation into the Irish banking crisis, according to the Sunday Independent. And while some might consider that a relatively modest number in view of the damage caused by the banking collapse, there are indications that it will include some serious high-fliers.
Director of Corporate Enforcement Paul Appleby is nearing the end of his 14-month inquiry and he is expected to present his report to Government before the summer recess. Central to Appleby’s investigation is the €7.5 billion back-to-back transfer of money  from Irish Life & Permanent and  Anglo Irish Bank which led to the resignations of Anglo bosses Sean Fitzpatrick and David Drumm and several executives in Irish Life.
Appleby is also looking at a series of secret loans to Anglo directors and the failure of the bank’s auditors, Ernst & Young, to spot the “cooking of the books” in the company. More than one third of all staff in the Office of Corporate Enforcement is working on the Anglo inquiry – including garda detectives, and staff with accountancy, administrative, technology and legal expertise. They have been sifting through more than two million documents seized from the financial institutions.
It could, however, be next year before prosecutions commence. “Given the complexities of the case and the state of Irish law, it is unlikely that there will be prosecutions  until early 2011,” a Government source told the newspaper.

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