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Ex-Anglo Irish Bank boss David Drumm spending night behind bars

Published 14/03/2016

Michael Staines, solicitor for David Drumm, leaving the Dublin District Court
Michael Staines, solicitor for David Drumm, leaving the Dublin District Court

Former Anglo Irish Bank boss David Drumm is spending a night behind bars in Ireland after being extradited from the US.

The 49-year-old is expected to be granted bail on Tuesday after appearing in court in Dublin charged with 33 fraud-related offences.

The one-time chief executive, who left Ireland for Boston in 2009 after Anglo collapsed costing Irish citizens 29 billion euro, is not expected to stand trial for two years.

All the charges against Drumm relate to the lender's operations in the year before it went bust.

Among them are fraud, forgery, misleading management reporting, unlawful lending, falsifying documents and false accounting.

Dublin District Court heard Drumm has 8.5 million euro of debts, no previous convictions, and that there were seven people in the courtroom willing to offer their houses as security if he was granted bail.

He also offered to have an electronic tag fitted, even though there is no provision for it in Irish law.

The father of two daughters told Judge Michael Walsh he did not have an American passport and that he was prepared to give an undertaking not to apply for a new Irish passport if granted bail.

"I am of course, your honour," Drumm told the court.

During a series of hearings in the Criminal Courts of Justice, Drumm sat in the dock in a dark suit with a blue shirt and tie as some detail of the 33 charges he faces were read out.

He is charged with conspiracy to defraud and false accounting relating to 7.2 billion euro deposits placed in Anglo accounts by the then Irish Life and Permanent between March and September 2008.

He faces a maximum sentence of an unlimited jail term if convicted of the conspiracy charge.

Drumm is also charged under the Companies Act over alleged unlawful lending to members of the Quinn family and the so-called Maple 10 investors to unwind a secret 28% shareholding in Anglo built up by tycoon Sean Quinn.

Those 16 charges could lead to a maximum sentence of five years in jail.

Drumm is also charged with seven offences under the Companies Act of being privy to falsifying documents which could lead to a maximum five years in jail if convicted and seven offences of creating false documents under the Criminal Justice (Theft and Fraud) Offences Act which could lead to a maximum of 10 years in jail if found guilty.

He is charged with breaching European rules on making company reports.

No plea has been entered at this stage and the case will go to trial on indictment, the court heard.

While Judge Michael Walsh initially granted bail, Drumm was remanded in custody until Tuesday in order for paperwork on a total of 100,000 euro of independent sureties to be confirmed.

Drumm is also asked to provide a 50,000 euro cash surety of his own, sign on twice a day at Balbriggan Garda Station and remain in Ireland as part of the bail terms.

He will live at Shenick Avenue in Skerries, Co Dublin as he awaits trial, the court heard.

Lawyers for the Director of Public Prosecutions told the court they objected to bail and believed Drumm was a flight risk as he had moved to the US in the wake of Anglo's collapse and had not returned since 2009.

Judge Walsh said: "The whole issue of him being a flight risk and having no ties to the jurisdiction, that does not hold up."

Copies of the bail conditions will be sent to the passport office in the Department of Foreign Affairs in Dublin, the court heard.

The judge was told the former banker's wife Lorraine is putting the family home in Massachusetts up for sale and she is expected to return to Ireland with one of his daughters in late June after she has finished school.

The trial will involve 120 witnesses and minutes from up to 15 company meetings, the court was told.

It also heard there are millions of documents, company accounts, 400 hours of phone recordings in relation to Anglo's dealings with Irish Life and Permanent, emails and other correspondence.

Two books of evidence were in the court.

On a possible trial date, Judge Walsh said: "I understand from other related matters that a trial date could be up to two years. There's no possibility of a trial up to 2017."

Drumm has been in the US since June 2009.

Ireland's fraud squad and the corporate watchdog in the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement launched inquiries into the bank's collapse seven years ago.

The court was told repeated and unsuccessful attempts were made by investigators to secure an interview with Drumm in 2010 and 2011, while he was living near Boston.

Warrants were issued by the court for Drumm's arrest in June 2013.

He had been living in Wellesley, Massachusetts when he was detained by the US Marshals Service last October and he has been in custody in the US since.

Drumm initially fought the extradition application.

The court heard he was arrested at Dublin Airport at 5.30am on Monday after gardai travelled to the US to bring him to court.

He was initially taken to Ballymun Garda Station where he was charged before being taken to the Criminal Courts of Justice in Dublin city centre.

He made no reply when the charges were put to him in the station, officers told the court.

Drumm was appointed Anglo's chief executive in January 2005 and resigned in December 2008.

The bank was nationalised early the next year, a move which has cost Irish citizens billions as the State repays bondholders on the international money markets which financed the lending.

Drumm will appear before the same court on Tuesday when bail conditions will be finalised.

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