2 imprisoned Anglo Irish Bank officials freed on appeal

AP News
Posted: Mar 15, 2016 11:42 AM
2 imprisoned Anglo Irish Bank officials freed on appeal

DUBLIN (AP) — Two former figures in Anglo Irish Bank were freed from prison Tuesday after their fraud convictions were overturned on appeal, while the collapsed bank's most hunted figure of all — former chief executive David Drumm — walked free from police custody barely a day after his U.S. extradition.

Irish fraud and criminal investigators have spent nine years trying to assign blame for the massive accounting deceptions that helped destroy the bank and drive Ireland itself to the brink of bankruptcy.

But a series of probes and trials so far have produced only suspended or overturned sentences, while Drumm is not expected to face his own 33 fraud charges in two trials before mid-2017.

Drumm spent his first night home in Ireland since 2009 in police custody but walked free after his mother and father-in-law helped him provide a 150,000 euro ($166,500) bail guarantee.

Around the same time, the three-judge Court of Appeal ruled that the July 2015 convictions of the bank's former chief operations officer, Tiarnan O'Mahoney, and company secretary Bernard Daly were faulty on several grounds.

They and a former assistant manager, Aoife Maguire, all had been found guilty of concealing customer accounts from tax investigators.

But Maguire's 18-month sentence was overturned in December, followed by O'Mahoney's 3-year penalty and Daly's 2-year term Tuesday.

They remain the only officials to have been imprisoned from Anglo, the bank most credited with fueling a runaway Irish property market that came crashing down amid the 2008 global credit crisis.

Investigators who pored over Anglo's books following its early 2009 nationalization uncovered schemes to hide illegal loans and mega-billion losses from shareholders. Ireland, overwhelmed by the toxic debts of Anglo and five other Dublin banks, was forced to negotiate an international bailout in late 2010 that the nation successfully exited three years later.