Key figure in bogus accounts inquiry has died

TONY Spollen, a key figure in the exposure of the bogus non-resident bank accounts scandal, has died.

One of the biggest banking scandals at the time, it blew up 20 years ago.

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The controversy exposed a culture of encouraging tax evasion within Irish banks.

This was done by banks allowing wealthy customers to set up offshore accounts.

The money was transferred offshore, thus enabling the account holder to avoid paying Dirt tax.

Mr Spollen was AIB internal auditor in the late 1990s, when a leaked document he sent to the bank’s then chief executive warned that the group faced a IR£100m (€127m) contingent Dirt liability due to the bogus accounts.

His testimony to the Oireachtas Public Accounts Committee that was probing the scandal proved crucial, and ensured the State collected millions in unpaid taxes, interest and penalties.

Thousands of tax evaders were prosecuted, as were leading banks.

Mr Spollen did not leak the memo, but he proved to be a key witness, giving clear and damning evidence before the committee.

Mr Spollen died at the weekend, peacefully at home.

He left AIB in 1991 to set up his own consultancy.

He also served on a number of company and State boards.

He is survived by his wife, Gina, children Tonia, Garfield, Virginia and Davin, and six grandchildren.

His funeral will take place today at the Church of the Sacred Heart, Donnybrook, Dublin.

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