A rotten and intrinsically corrupt state

According to RTEs economic editor, (8th item) George Lee, the Fyffes/DCC saga finally came to an end this afternoon – He’s wrong, it did not. We are also constantly told by George Lee and other so called experts that this is a complex case – It is not.

In 2000, Jim Flavin of DCC illegally traded in Fyffes shares making a profit of €85 million. Fyffes took a civil case against DCC to get their money back.

It’s likely they took a civil case because if they took a criminal case they would have had to answer questions about their own dodgy behaviour. For example, Fyffes issued options to senior executives and allowed a senior executive to sell shares when they should not have.

Fyffes lost their case in the High Court but went to the Supreme Court where they won. One of the judges, Mr. Justice Fennelly was crystal clear:

To trade on the use of inside information is recognised for what it is. It is a fraud on the market.

There’s nothing complex about that. It’s a simple case of greed and fraud.

But Flavin’s fraud pales into insignificance when compared to the real scandal surrounding this case – The absolute failure of any State agency to take any real action against this fraudster.

It is also an absolute disgrace that RTE has completely ignored this aspect of the scandal. Hence George Lee’s assertion that this saga has come to an end when in fact the real scandal has never even been addressed.

In functional democracies, insider trading is a very serious crime. When it is uncovered there is immediate and strong action by all relevant law enforcement authorities.

I have already cited the recent Nacchio case in America. Joseph P. Nacchio, former chief executive of Qwest, was sentenced to six years in prison, fined $19 million and ordered to forfeit $52 million he earned from illegal stock shares in 2001 – That’s real law enforcement in a real democracy.

Let’s be absolutely clear about what has happened here in this corrupt Republic.

Jim Flavin has been exposed as a fraudster in a case involving millions of Euros and nobody, absolutely nobody is going to act against him. The law will not be enforced; the law is being deliberately and consciously put to one side so that Flavin can remain a free agent.

In effect, the State has decided that this fraudster is to be treated as if he deserves the same status of innocence and respect as all law abiding citizens.

Let’s also name the so called State enforcement/regulatory agencies that have, to date, failed in their duty to enforce the law, to do their duty, to act as they should in the best interest of the State and its citizens.

The Director of Public Prosecutions
The Financial Regulator
The Stock Exchange
The Revenue Commissioners
Institute of Chartered Accountants (The fraudster is a member of this organisaton)
Irish Association of Investment Managers (IAIM) (Which, allegedly, oversees corporate governance in listed companies)

The Director of Corporate Enforcement, Paul Appleby, made a pathetic attempt to get some of those involved in the fraud disqualified from acting as directors; his plea was rejected out of hand.

He now has to decide whether to pursue a petition through the High Court. If he decides to go ahead the case will take years and consume a large portion of his meagre resources and finances.

Considering his options he must be aware that he hasn’t a hope in hell of succeeding but even if he does it won’t matter a damn because Flavin the fraudster retires in two years time anyway.

This case is very important not just because it is such an outrageous scandal, not just because the State blatantly refuses to take any effective action, not just because there is no doubt and virtually no argument concerning the facts of the case but because the scandal exposes and confirms the indisputable fact that the Republic of Ireland is a rotten and intrinsically corrupt state.

Copy to:

Director of Public Prosecutions.
Financial Regulator.
Irish Stock Exchange.
Irish Revenue Commissioners
Institute of Chartered Accountants
Irish Association of Investment Managers
Director of Corporate Enforcement
RTE (News)