Saturday 24 August 2019

What two US judges thought of David Drumm

Two US judges have made critical findings against David Drumm that could now go against him in his bid to get bail and fight his extradition.

Drumm had tried to go bankrupt in Boston so he could walk away from his debts to the former Anglo Irish Bank. The District Court judge Frank Bailey heard evidence from the bank and his bankruptcy trustee about his failure to disclose all his assets in a hearing in Boston last year. Drumm had blamed his advisors.

But in his highly critical 122-page judgment, Judge Bailey found that Drumm was "not remotely credible" and "his conduct both knowing and fraudulent." His statements to the court "were replete with knowingly false statements, failures to disclose, efforts to misdirect, and outright lies."

The judge found that after the collapse of Anglo Irish Bank, Drumm started transferring assets to his wife, and the following year they moved to the US. He believed that both David and Lorraine Drumm were "motivated first and foremost by desire to shelter their assets from seizure by Drumm's creditors, especially Anglo."

Drumm had "knowingly and fraudulently" sought to put assets beyond the reach of his creditors by transferring cash and other assets, totalling around €1m, to his wife.

Judge Bailey found that Drumm "is not credible or truthful and has made misrepresentations at every stage of these proceedings."

The former Anglo banker appealed this finding. He blamed the advice he had received from lawyers and accountants and had claimed that the original bankruptcy court had erred in its findings.

Last week, the US District Court Judge Leo T Sorokin found against him too. Judge Sorokin ruled that "no mistake" had been made by the original Bankruptcy Court in refusing to discharge Mr Drumm from his debts of around €10.4m.

He found that there was neither an "error of law" nor any "clearly erroneous finding of fact". He said the original bankruptcy court finding that Mr Drumm had "adopted a strategy with respect to truth-telling and full disclosure" to suit his purposes was a "well reasoned" finding, "amply supported" by the evidence.

He found that Mr Drumm had employed a "tug-of-war" strategy in relation to disclosing his finances, and said that he could not now blame his advisors for that strategy.

Judge Sorokin said that there was no evidence that "even comes close" to suggesting that Mr Drumm did not understand he had to make full disclosure of all asset transfers.

Sunday Independent

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