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Drumm faces ruin after failed US bankruptcy bid

FORMER Anglo Irish Bank chief executive David Drumm has failed in his bid for bankruptcy in the United States.

Drumm (48) faces ruin after a judge decided he should be denied a fresh financial start and held liable for debts of €10.5m.

US bankruptcy judge Frank Bailey found Drumm was "not remotely credible" and that his conduct in concealing asset transfers was "both knowing and fraudulent" in a damning judgement delivered last night.

Drumm was also accused in the judgment of telling "outright lies" - a finding which potentially leaves him open to perjury charges.

The disgraced banker, who gardai wish to question about the collapse of the now-defunct lender, learned of his fate last night - seven months after a week-long bankruptcy trial concluded in Boston.

Judge Bailey concluded there were 30 reasonable objections against discharging Drumm from his debts.

These included Drumm's admission he made false claims under oath about the transfer of hundreds of thousands of euro in assets to his wife Lorraine.

The decision means Drumm will be liable for all of his debts and will not be afforded a clean financial start.

Ruin

He faces financial ruin and a raft of legal cases as creditors seek to recover as much money as possible. Creditors will also be able to chase him for future earnings.

Both a court-appointed trustee and the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC), the former Anglo Irish Bank, had objected to the discharge.

Outlining his decision in a 122-page ruling, Judge Bailey said: "Finding Drumm not remotely credible and his conduct both knowing and fraudulent, I conclude the plaintiffs have established cause to deny him a discharge many times over.

"Drumm's statements to this court were replete with knowingly false statements, failures to disclose, efforts to misdirect, and outright lies.

"Such conduct disqualifies a debtor from the privilege of a discharge in our system of bankruptcy."

Drumm moved to Massachusetts in June 2009, shortly after stepping down as Anglo CEO.

He filed for bankruptcy in October 2010. Most of his debts were with his former employers after he borrowed heavily to buy shares in the bank.

After the bank's nationalisation, he was unable to reach a deal on this debt and was pursued rigorously by IBRC through the US courts.

He continued to lead an extravagant lifestyle, with a $2m home and sending his children to expensive private schools.

Some 52 separate objections were made to Mr Drumm's discharge. Judge Bailey upheld 30 of these.

He found Mr Drumm made nine "discrete transfers of cash" to his wife in late 2008 and the summer and autumn of 2009. These were worth around €700,000.

The judge also found Mr Drumm had knowingly and fraudulently omitted details of five property transaction transfers to his wife.

Cars worth tens of thousands of euro were also transferred into Mrs Drumm's ownership.

Judge Bailey's ruling contained dozens of passages damning Drumm's conduct.

He said the former banker had displayed "a lack of credibility" at his trial in trying to explain why he had concealed key financial information.

Controlling

He said Drumm was clearly "no bumbler" and described him as "a controlling type" who "knew what he was doing".

Drumm worked for Anglo Irish Bank in the United States in the late 1990s and within five years was appointed head of Irish lending, aged just 35.

By 2005 he succeeded Sean FitzPatrick as the CEO of the booming bank.

The bank took increasingly bigger risks, and under Drumm's tenure Anglo's profits grew by 70pc within three years.

But Drumm is now better remembered for his response to the financial crisis that hit in 2008.

He was exposed by recordings in The Anglo Tapes which had him laughing as the bank haemorrhaged money.

Most recently, Drumm has found a job as a consultant and has been seen working out of the offices of a scaffolding firm in New Jersey.

hnews@herald.ie


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