Sean Fitzpatrick pleads not guilty to making misleading statements to auditors

An enlarged jury of 15 has now been sworn in

Sean Fitzpatrick pleads not guilty to making misleading statements to auditors

Former chairman of Anglo Irish Bank Sean Fitzpatrick outside the Central Criminal Court in Dublin in 2015 | Image: RollingNews.ie

Sean Fitzpatrick has pleaded not guilty to making misleading, false or deceptive statements to auditors Ernst & Young between 2002 and 2008.

The former chairman of Anglo Irish Bank has also denied furnishing false information in relation to multi-million euro personal loans.

An enlarged jury of 15 - eight women and seven men - was sworn in this afternoon but they will not begin to hear evidence until next month.

It took some time for all 27 charges to be put to Mr Fitzpatrick, who was told to stand in the dock as they were read out.

He pleaded not guilty to all of them.

The 68-year-old is facing 22 charges of making misleading, false or deceptive statements to Anglo Irish Bank’s auditors Ernst & Young.

He has also denied five charges of making false statements to the same auditors in relation to the value of loans to Anglo’s directors.

The prosecution believes he made those statements without disclosing the true amounts of multi-million euro loans he received from the former bank.

The offences are alleged to have taken place at various dates between Nov 26th 2002 and February 1st 2008.

A number of charges relate to his alleged failure to refer to a transaction or arrangement between Anglo and Irish Nationwide whereby he received loans from the building society.

Before the registrar began plucking names at random from a black drum, the jury panel was told they should not sit if they knew anyone involved in the case or had expressed themselves in public on issues concerning the banking crisis or bankers in general.

They were told they would be disqualified if they had been personally affected by banking difficulties or couldn’t come at the case with impartiality.

Judge John Aylmer also told them they would be excused if they had been involved in anti-austerity protests.

The defence challenged a number of people, including one man who was willing to cancel a planned trip to serve.

A jury has now been sworn in but they will not begin to hear evidence until next month in what is expected to be a 12 week trial.