Tuesday 20 March 2018

Drumm: 'I did not set out to hide €1m'

Former Anglo boss blames legal advisers for not disclosing cash and assets transferred to wife

Former Anglo chief executive of David Drumm
Former Anglo chief executive of David Drumm
Shane Phelan

Shane Phelan

Former banker David Drumm has blamed advice he allegedly received from his former US legal advisers for his failure to disclose €1m in assets transferred to his wife.

The former Anglo Irish Bank boss has lodged his grounds of appeal against a decision by a US court to refuse him bankruptcy protection.

In the filings, lodged shortly before a Wednesday night deadline, he claimed he fully informed his lawyers of more than €1m in cash and property transfers he made to his wife Lorraine. He maintained his lawyers opted not to include these in his statement of financial affairs, known as a SOFA, which was filed by them on Mr Drumm's behalf.

Last January, a judge cited these omissions among several reasons why he was denying Mr Drumm bankruptcy protection in Massachusetts.

Judge Frank Bailey concluded Mr Drumm had knowingly and intentionally concealed the assets and transfers.

He found Mr Drumm had told "outright lies" to the court about his financial affairs and had "under oath, knowingly and fraudulently failed to disclose" asset transfers.

Most of the assets were passed to his wife's control in late 2008 as Anglo's share price plummeted.

In a 57-page submission seen by the Irish Independent, Mr Drumm argued that he should not be penalised for an error made by his former representatives.

Mr Drumm claimed the judge erred by finding he had knowingly and intentionally intended to conceal the assets.

He also questioned whether Judge Bailey had made "negative inferences" about his failure to call accountants to testify.

"This case raises the issue of whether the debtor can be denied a discharge in bankruptcy where the record makes clear that he made full disclosure to his attorneys, and the forensic accountants they hired, of all of the facts," the filing, submitted by Mr Drumm's lawyer Tracy Miner, stated.

It said Mr Drumm "relied on their advice as to how and when to disclose" information to the trustee handling his bankruptcy case.

Ms Miner also argued Judge Bailey erroneously found that Mr Drumm knew or should have known bankruptcy law better than his legal advisors.

She claimed key findings which formed the basis for the judge's decision to deny Mr Drumm's discharge were "inconsistent with and contrary to evidence".

Mr Drumm has been living in the US since leaving Anglo in late 2008. He filed for bankruptcy with debts of €10.5m in October 2010.

Most of the debt are owed to his former employers. The money had been used to buy shares in the bank, but these became worthless when it was nationalised.

If he fails to win his appeal, his creditors will be able to take legal action to recover debts.

Irish Independent

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