Wednesday 22 November 2017

Likely to be next year before case comes to court

Former Anglo Irish Bank boss David Drumm. Photo: Chitose Suzuki
Former Anglo Irish Bank boss David Drumm. Photo: Chitose Suzuki
Shane Phelan

Shane Phelan

David Drumm may be back on Irish soil today but it will likely be next year before he faces trial. It is expected that the DPP will seek to allow other ongoing cases involving matters related to the former Anglo Irish Bank to conclude before the trial of Mr Drumm takes place.

Another factor likely to slow things down is the complexity of the charges Mr Drumm is facing and the expectation that there will need to be an extensive discovery process ahead of the trial.

Tens of thousands of records were obtained by officers from the Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation and the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement during a raid on the bank's HQ in early 2009. Mr Drumm's legal team will be entitled to access to any of the records that prosecutors intend to rely upon.

Mr Drumm has already indicated that he will contest all of the charges. Although he has yet to be charged, details of the 33 proposed charges were disclosed as part of the application by Irish authorities to extradite him from the US. They all relate to the final year of his tenure at Anglo.

Some of the charges involve potential prison sentences of up to 10 years, while one allows for the imposition of an unlimited term in jail.

The first charge alleges that Mr Drumm disclosed false or misleading information in an interim management report, contrary to the Investment Funds, Companies and Miscellaneous Provisions Act 2006.

Prosecutors will claim that Anglo's half-yearly financial report of March 2008 did not disclose the substantial CFD (contract for difference) position built up by businessman Seán Quinn, even though Mr Drumm was aware of it.

Sixteen charges relate to allegations that unlawful financial assistance was given to individuals to buy shares, in violation of the Companies Act 1963. These relate to loans of €175m to the Quinn family and €45m to each of the 'Maple 10' to buy shares to unwind Mr Quinn's CFD position.

Seven further charges relate to alleged forgery, in violation of the Criminal Justice (Theft and Fraud) Offences Act 2001.

Mr Drumm is also facing seven charges of being privy to the falsification of the loan letters, contrary to the Companies Act 1990. A further charge alleges conspiracy to defraud, in violation of common law.

Prosecutors claim that Mr Drumm instructed an employee to approach Irish Life & Permanent to request that it enter into a series of 'back-to-back' transactions. It is alleged that Anglo gave IL&P €7.2bn and that the money was returned to Anglo through IL&P's corporate subsidiary, Irish Life Assurance plc.

The final charge is one of false accounting, in violation of the Criminal Justice (Theft and Fraud) Offences Act 2001.

Irish Independent

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