Will We Get Corporate Enforcement Where It Counts?
The office of corporate enforcement has requested more staff, in particular forensic accountants, to help prosecute cases according to this Irish Independent article. It is interesting to note that they under spent their budget and their staff numbers fell in a time where corporate fraud appears to be at an all time high in the financial sector.
It makes a case for increased staff citing it’s “success” in convicting Anglo Irish Bank directors Pat Whelan and William McAteer earlier this year for making illegal loans.
Although we welcome the fact that 5 new forensic accountants will be employed if this request is approved, we would hope that they will be put to better use when one considers the “conviction” cited only resulted in a bit of community service. We would question why the office of corporate enforcement went down the line of charging them with making illegal loans when a far more serious offence remains to be investigated that goes to the core of the bankrupting of our country. One that can be proven by simple forensic accounting.
We would suggest that the new staff be put immediately onto the investigation of our bankrupted banks and their failure to comply with the Central Bank’s Requirements for the Management of Liquidity Risk relevant at the time. It doesn’t take a genius to know they breached these regulations multiple times and it is of note that this carries a 5 year prison sentence. We would also ask why they have not done this in the previous 6 years?