Thursday 27 October 2016

DPP has thrown the book at Drumm with allegations of fraud, forgery and conspiracy

Published 14/10/2015 | 02:30

Former Anglo Irish Bank chief David Drumm
Former Anglo Irish Bank chief David Drumm

The wheels of justice often turn slowly. But progress has been particularly slow in the case of fugitive banker David Drumm.

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The offences he is alleged to have committed occurred in 2008, the year he resigned as Anglo Irish Bank's chief executive.

Court papers disclosed yesterday reveal warrants for his arrest were initially issued as far back as June 27, 2013 by a district judge in Dublin.

Yet it was not until late 2014 that his extradition from the US was officially sought through diplomatic channels by Irish authorities.

Since then it has taken almost a year for the issue to be progressed to the stage where US officials were happy to seek court approval for Mr Drumm's arrest.

Why there was such a gap between the initial warrant being issued and his appearance in court yesterday has yet to be explained. However, what is finally known is the full extent of the charges facing Mr Drumm.

There are 33 charges in total, an indication that following a lengthy investigation by gardaí and the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement, the Director of Public Prosecutions decided to throw the book at Mr Drumm.

The charges relate to every major controversy the bank became embroiled in during its final years of operation before being nationalised.

They include counts of false reporting, giving unlawful financial assistance, forgery, being privy to the falsification of documents, conspiracy to defraud and false accounting.

It is claimed Mr Drumm committed an offence by not disclosing Sean Quinn's 28pc stake in the bank, built up through complicated financial instruments called contracts for difference (CFDs). It is alleged he acted unlawfully in arranging for a group of Anglo customers, known as the Maple 10, to borrow money from the bank to buy shares in a bid to help unwind Mr Quinn's CFD position.

The charges also portray him as the instigator of a scheme involving "back to back" transactions with Irish Life & Permanent.

This, it is claimed, allowed Anglo to portray a €7.2bn lodgement as a corporate deposit on its balance sheet.

For Mr Drumm, the stakes could not be higher.

Some of the offences he is alleged to have perpetrated carry maximum sentences of five and ten years.

Others have an unlimited tariff, meaning he could potentially face even longer in prison if convicted.

Irish Independent

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