Naas businessman to answer ‘Anglo 10’ questions

Kildare businessman Jerry Conlan has been ordered by Naas District Court to answer ‘Anglo 10’ questions by the Office of Director of Corporate Enforcement.

Kildare businessman Jerry Conlan has been ordered by Naas District Court to answer ‘Anglo 10’ questions by the Office of Director of Corporate Enforcement.

The order, made yesterday under new legislation, Section 15 of the Criminal Justice Act 2011, by Judge Desmond Zaidan, requires the Naas-based businessman to furnish documents and make statements regarding multi million loans by Anglo Irish Bank to 10 wealthy individuals in July 2008, designed it is claimed, to support the bank’s share price at the time. Mr Conlan has 21 days to do so.

Anglo Irish Bank allegedly loaned a total of E300 million to 10 wealthy individuals, each borrowing E30m from Anglo Irish to buy shares in the bank, designed it is claimed, to support the bank’s share price.

Regulatory authorities are currently investigating whether Anglo Irish subsequently changed the original non-recourse loan terms by substituting them as collateral, which ultimately davalued the shares. The taxpayer is currently exposed to the E300m debt at the now nationalised bank.

This is the first time the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement has used these powers.

Garda Inspector Ray Kavanagh of the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement said it was seeking the order for Jerry Conlan to furnish documents and answer questions regarding the ‘Anglo 10’ dealings.

“I am satisfied that there are reasonable grounds to suspect Mr Conlan has in his possession or control documents,” said Judge Zaidan, in granting the application. He also noted that Mr Conlan “is not being investigated as a suspect but is being treated as a witness”.

Barrister for the Office, Mr Paul Anthony MacDermott, said the statements and documents to be furnished are of “great importance to the investigation into Anglo Irish Bank”.

A native of Kildare, Mr Conlan lives in Naas with his wife and six children. He is one of Kildare’s most prominent and successful businessmen. A director of several companies, he was the brainchild behind the Millennium Business Park in Naas Co Kildare - a 200 acre high-specification office park with direct access to the M7 Motorway.