Tuesday 12 November 2019

Drumm's future in US at risk as questions over his visa emerge

Loan from wife claimed to be a 'sham'

Dearbhail McDonald and Emmet Oliver

Disgraced former Anglo Irish Bank chief executive David Drumm could be forced to leave the US after serious questions were raised over how he obtained his work visa.

Mr Drumm faces a likely investigation into his visa, and US immigration experts say the former banker, who has filed for bankruptcy in Boston, could be deported after his visa expires in November.

Independent trustee to his estate, Kathleen Dwyer, has filed papers with the bankruptcy court describing a working capital loan to set up a consulting business -- which was given to Mr Drumm by his wife Lorraine Drumm -- as "fictitious" and a "sham transaction".

This loan was crucial to Mr Drumm obtaining his US visa, as it was used by him to demonstrate to American authorities he had money to invest in growing a business there.

Attempting to obtain a visa by misrepresentation or fraud can result in the permanent refusal of a visa or denial of entry into the US, according to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Last night, US immigration attorney Dan Harrington, who is also a volunteer for the Irish Immigration Centre in Boston, said that Mr Drumm could ultimately face deportation if the US immigration authorities revoke his visa when it comes up for renewal in November.

"The authorities take a very dim view of dishonesty on the part of non-immigrant visa holders," said Mr Harrington.

"If the issue is alleged visa fraud, you have a real problem."


Mr Drumm secured his E2 investment visa in 2009 on the basis he was setting up a business consulting company with the help of a large working capital loan from his wife Lorraine.

However, Ms Dwyer has described this loan as "a sham transaction" and has also queried the legitimacy of the business, Delta Corporate Finance, which had only one client and never made a profit.

Jeremiah Friedman, a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, said Mr Drumm could be permanently denied re-entry if it were proven he lied or engaged in a scam to get his visa.

"If you lied to get your visa or if it was based on some sort of a scam, that could have a very negative impact on your efforts to renew it," said Mr Friedman,.

"If it (the visa) is based on a fraud, you are not going to get to renew it," he added.

If Mr Drumm's visa is revoked by the US authorities, he would not necessarily have to return to Ireland, as he would be free to move to anywhere in the EU or to another country which would grant him a visa.

The issue of Mr Drumm's visa renewal is set to be closely watched by the garda fraud bureau which has been seeking to interview Mr Drumm about irregularities in Anglo for the past two years.

Ms Dwyer has also filed a fresh complaint against Mrs Drumm, seeking to reverse and void what the lawyer described as "fraudulent transfers" between the husband and wife.

The trustee is seeking to seize a number of properties owned by the couple and has accused Mr Drumm of orchestrating a series of transfers to dilute and hide his interests in the real estate.

Ms Dwyer has also claimed that Mr Drumm told the US authorities on July 24, 2009, that his main residence was in Chatham, Massachusetts, when "at all relevant times" he was living at a different property.

Irish Independent

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