Wednesday 21 February 2018

US Investigation into David Drumm has cost nearly €1m

David Drumm. Photo: Frank McGrath
David Drumm. Photo: Frank McGrath
Shane Phelan

Shane Phelan

Investigations into the financial affairs of disgraced former Anglo Irish Bank chief executive David Drumm have cost almost $1m (€0.75m), the Irish Independent has learned.

Lawyers hired to probe the banker's cash have submitted legal bills for over 1,500 man hours of work, which involved disentangling a web of asset transfers.

Their work also included selling some of his property assets and preparing for his bankruptcy trial, which was held last May.

A decision is now awaited from a US judge on whether he can emerge from bankruptcy debt free.

Drumm moved to Massachusetts in 2009 following the collapse of Anglo and filed for bankruptcy the following year with debts of €10.5m. Most of the money was owed to his former employers.

He has refused to return to Ireland to be questioned as part of investigations into alleged fraudulent activity at the bank.

Documents seen by the Irish Independent reveal the massive costs involved in following the Drumm money trail.

One set of American lawyers, hired by the bankruptcy official overseeing his case, has submitted bills totalling $792,000 (€591,000) for work which included uncovering the transfer by Drumm of €2m worth of cash and property to his wife Lorraine.

The Boston law firm Murphy and King has acted for trustee Kathleen Dwyer throughout the proceedings since October 2010 and submitted its latest bill in recent days.

Its bills are likely to be paid out of surplus cash from the sale of Drumm's assets.

The law firm was central to organising the sale of homes in Cape Cod and Malahide, Co Dublin, which netted a combined €3.7m towards the paying off of Drumm's debts.

Ms Dwyer also retained a US financial advisory firm, CRG Partners Group, at a cost of $68,400 (€51,000), to analyse Drumm's bank accounts and those of his wife, identifying and tracking cash movements.

Irish law firm Lavelle Coleman also carried out investigative and legal work for the trustee, and submitted bills for €52,500 and €29,600. An Irish barrister has also lodged a €17,300 bill.

Legal fees incurred in the case by Anglo's successor, the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation, which has opposed Drumm's discharge as a bankrupt, have yet to be disclosed, but are understood to be substantial.

Drumm is also expected to have considerable legal fees.

Although total bills are not yet known, Drumm has been paying two law firms acting for him an agreed rate of $250 (€186) an-hour. An initial retainer of $150,000 (€112,000) was paid by Drumm to the firms in October 2011 and he pledged to pay an additional $10,000 (€7,500)-a-month after that.

Boston bankruptcy judge Frank Bailey is due to make a decision on the bankruptcy case in the coming weeks.

During his six-day trial, Drumm admitted making "lots of errors" in his original bankruptcy papers, but said there was no intention to hide details of cash or property.

Irish Independent

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