Tuesday 23 January 2018

Drumm's US home safe from creditors

Shane Phelan Investigative Correspondent

CREDITORS of former Anglo Irish Bank boss David Drumm will not be able to go after his new $2m (€1.4m) home in the US as the property is being held by a trust.

Court documents reveal that Mr Drumm and at least one other unknown individual used a trust to buy the house on the outskirts of Boston earlier this year.

Mr Drumm fled to the US in December 2008 after resigning as chief executive of the bank when a loans-to-directors scandal was revealed.

Gardai now want to interview him as part of a fraud squad investigation into major irregularities at Anglo, but he has so far refused to return home voluntarily for questioning.

After Mr Drumm filed for bankruptcy with debts of €10.26m last month, it emerged he and his family were living in a plush four-bedroom property in Wellesley, Massachusetts.

Mystery surrounded the ownership of the house, as the beneficial owners are not listed in land registry records.

However, Mr Drumm has now been forced to admit in bankruptcy court filings seen by the Irish Independent that he has a 50pc beneficial interest in the Epiphany Nominee Trust, which holds the property.

Court documents do not reveal who benefits from the remaining half and the terms of the trust are private.

The main advantage for Mr Drumm from the arrangement is that it puts his interest in the house outside the reach of his creditors as the legal title to the property is held by a trustee and not Mr Drumm or members of his family.

It is not the first time Mr Drumm has taken steps to protect his assets from creditors. He previously used a US law to his advantage by declaring another house, a $4.6m (€3.28m) mansion on Cape Cod, as his home.

The move, made under Declaration of Homestead legislation, protected $500,000 (€360,000) of the value of the home from creditors.

Mr Drumm also transferred his half share his €2m home in Malahide, Co Dublin, to his wife Lorraine last year.

However, this is being challenged in the courts by his former employers, Anglo.

Irish Independent

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