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Former Anglo boss David Drumm bankruptcy bid fails in US


Former Anglo Irish Bank chief David Drumm arrives at the US Bankruptcy Courthouse on Wednesday. Photo: Irish Independent

Former Anglo Irish Bank chief David Drumm arrives at the US Bankruptcy Courthouse on Wednesday. Photo: Irish Independent

Former Anglo Irish Bank chief David Drumm arrives at the US Bankruptcy Courthouse on Wednesday. Photo: Irish Independent

FORMER Anglo Irish Bank boss David Drumm faces ruin after a judge decided he should be denied a fresh financial start and held liable for debts of €10.5m.

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

Mr 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 irregularities at the now defunct lender, learned of his fate last night - seven months after a week-long bankruptcy trial concluded in Boston.

Bankruptcy judge Frank Bailey concluded there were 30 reasonable objections against discharging Mr Drumm from his debts.

These included Mr 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 Mr Drumm (48) will be liable for all of his debts and will not be afforded a clean financial start.

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 his 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."

 Mr Drumm moved to Massachusetts in June 2009, shortly after stepping down as chief executive at Anglo.

He filed for bankruptcy in October 2010. Most of his debts - over €9m - were with his former employers after he borrowed heavily to buy shared 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, living in a $2m home and sending his children to expensive private schools.

IBRC claimed in legal proceedings that Mr Drumm had knowingly and fraudulently concealed cash and property transfers worth more that €1m by moving them into his wife's ownership.

Most of the assets were transferred in late 2008 as Anglo teetered on the brink of collapse.

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 Lorraine Drumm's ownership.

Mr Drumm, the judge found, had materially understated the value of household good and furnishings he owned.

The former banker falsely stated under oath that his statement of financial affairs was "true and correct".

Judge Bailey's ruling contained dozens of passages damning of Mr 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 and dealings.

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

The judge found Mr Drumm was adept at providing testimony designed to misdirect the court.

It was unclear last night what effect, if any, the ruling will have on Mr Drumm immigration status in the US.

The Irish Independent revealed last October that gardai were preparing to issue a warrant for his extradition after he refused to return home to face questions