Friday 23 August 2019

Glowing portrayal of ex-Anglo boss is at odds with allegations of fraud and deception

David Drumm with his wife Lorraine in Cape Cod in the US
David Drumm with his wife Lorraine in Cape Cod in the US
Shane Phelan

Shane Phelan

He may be a pariah in Ireland, but David Drumm has obviously made some close friends in the US since departing these shores in 2009 following the collapse of Anglo Irish Bank.

Documents lodged with a Boston court show three American friends have offered to put up their family homes as collateral to guarantee his release on bail, pending the outcome of his extradition case.

The properties involved are substantial, ranging in value from $600,000 to $2.8m - a strong indication the parties involved have considerable faith that Mr Drumm will not skip the country should he be released on bail.

Letters from the three friends are among lengthy submissions being examined by Judge Donald Cabell, who is to consider tomorrow whether or not Mr Drumm is to be released on bail.

The documents show that despite being in custody of the US Marshals Service for the past month, Mr Drumm has been able to hold on to his job as chief investment officer with an asset management company in New York.

The company, the identity of which has been redacted from court documents, is said to have held open his position and to regard him as a key employee.

The submissions do much to sketch out the life Mr Drumm has been living in the US in recent years. While his bankruptcy battles are well documented, much less has been known about what he has been doing for a living and his standing in his community.

Much new detail is provided in the dozen or so submissions made in support of his bail application.

These have been gathered together by his legal team in the month since he was taken into custody.

Unsurprisingly, given the objective of his lawyers is to secure his release, the submissions paint a rather flattering picture of Ireland's most wanted man.

They jar considerably with the portrayal of Mr Drumm by a Boston bankruptcy judge, who earlier this year found him to be a liar who concealed the transfer of €1m in assets to his wife Lorraine.

They are also at odds with the allegations of deceit and fraud outlined in the 33 charges Mr Drumm will face if returned to Ireland.

The submissions filed by his defence team describe Mr Drumm as a committed family man, whose daughters, aged 17 and 20, and wife Lorraine, are devastated by his incarceration.

The key thrust of the submissions is that it would be unimaginable for him to skip bail.

Mr Drumm is portrayed as a devout Catholic, regularly attending services in the Boston suburb of Wellesley, where he and his family have lived in a $2m home since 2010.

"The family assists with community service, including through the church, such as helping to prepare and distribute baskets of food to the homeless every Thanksgiving and Christmas," one of the documents states.

Mr Drumm has "a tremendous network of family, friends, and colleagues in Massachusetts and elsewhere in the US, over a dozen of whom have written to this court to express their complete confidence that Mr Drumm is not a flight risk," the filing continued.

This network includes a lawyer for his employers at a New York investment company. Mr Drumm went to work for the firm in 2011 after his financial advisory business in Boston failed.

The lawyer, whose name was redacted, told the court Mr Drumm's "expertise is irreplaceable and his advice is highly valued".

He said Mr Drumm kept the books and records of the company and, on some investments, was its sole representative actively involved in tracking the progress of deals.

"His trustworthiness, expertise and dedication are unquestioned," the lawyer said. "Notwithstanding the severe obstacles that his imprisonment presents, the company has decided to keep his position open and would eagerly welcome him back to continue in his current capacity even if [he] works exclusively from the confines of his home."

One of the three parties who have offered to put forward their homes as surety to secure Mr Drumm's release on bail, said he had known the former Anglo boss for six years.

"David is highly respected in the business community and among those who have had the pleasure to work with him," he said.

Another friend, who got to know Mr Drumm through business dealings, said he was happy to pledge his primary residence in support of bail.

"Nothing is more important to David than providing stability and a home for his daughters. He has done this because he is a good and decent man. He would never do anything to jeopardise their steady and uninterrupted development," he wrote.

Another friend wrote a letter stating: "He was never the dad who wasn't home. He has always made time for his daughters. He coached soccer when they were younger. He took them bike riding. He was there for every birthday and milestone."

A lawyer who has known Mr Drumm for over a decade said the former banker did not have the resources to flee the jurisdiction.

"Practically speaking, it is dubious David could go anywhere else and earn a living to support his family.

"I know David would not do anything to endanger the health and well-being of his family such as forcing them to become fugitives."

Irish Independent

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