Thursday, 26 January 2012
198 corporate convictions – and one person goes to jail
A recent look at the annual reports of the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforecement shows that it secured 198 convictions since it was set up in 2001.
Most of the convictions led to disqualifications and fines (mainly between €500-€1,500), while only eight included prison sentences. Of those, seven were suspended or overturned on appeal.
The one person who did go to prison, Kenneth Shanny from Dunshaughlin in Co Meath, was convicted of auditing offences under the 1990 Companies Act. He was sentenced to three years in prison, with the last year suspended, and is currently appealing the sentence.
So in ten years one person has been jailed by the body set up to tackle corporate crime in Ireland.
The Office is also investigating the goings-on in Anglo Irish Bank, an investigation that is in its third year. Due to the workload involved in the Anglo case the number of convictions the ODCE has secured dropped dramatically from 38 and 46 duine in 2005 and 2006 to just two in both 2009 and 2010.
Figures released by the Minister for Justice Alan Shatter in November also showed that ten prison sentences have been handed down for breaches of the Competition Act since 2001, but that all of them were suspended.
Meanwhile almost 7,000 people were jailed in in the first eleven months of 2011 for not paying fines (134 a week) up from 2,000 in 2008.