David Drumm to spend night in Cloverhill despite being granted bail

David Drumm
David Drumm

FORMER Anglo Irish Bank CEO David Drumm has been granted €150,000 bail by a Dublin court following his extradition from the United States to face trial over financial irregularities at the bank.

The “voluminous” case involves allegations of €7bn back-to-back transactions with Irish Life & Permanent, which the State believe was part of a conspiracy to defraud.

The charges also allege unlawful loans to the so-called Maple 10 group of investors as well as members of Sean Quinn's family.

Mr Drumm, who has not yet entered a plea, was remanded in custody to Cloverhill Prison with consent to bail terms and will face his next hearing at Dublin District Court hearing tomorrow.

It is expected he will then take up bail.

He has to lodge €50,000 and an independent surety in the sum of €100,000 has to be approved to get released.

Other bail terms state he cannot leave the country, must sign on twice daily at Balbriggan garda station and not apply for a new passport.

In 2009, Mr Drumm, who is originally from the north Co. Dublin suburb Skerries, emigrated to the United States and set up home in Boston; later he unsuccessfully filed for bankruptcy.

Meanwhile a warrant was issued for his arrest here in 2014 and an extradition request was then made by Ireland to the US authorities.

David Drumm, a father-of-two and a former chartered accountant, was arrested at his home in Wellesley, an upmarket suburb of Boston, on October 10 last year.

At first, he refused to consent to his extradition but after two failed attempts to get released on bail, he changed his mind.  

Ahead of his extradition, he has been held in custody in four different detention centres in two US states.

He arrived in Ireland today accompanied by fraud squad detectives and was brought to appear at Dublin District Court where the State objected to bail on the grounds he was a flight risk.

At Dublin District Court, Judge Michael Walsh held that  he was entitled to bail.

He said Mr Drumm, who is to reside at Shenick Avenue in Skerries in north Co Dublin, would be unlikely to face trial until 2017 and would be facing a trial involving a “voluminous” amount of evidence involving emails, 400 hours of phone recordings and “millions of documents”.

He also said the former Anglo boss was an Irish citizen with strong ties to Ireland.

Mr Drumm spoke briefly during the hearing when he gave the judge his Dublin address.

He also told the court he did not have a US passport just an Irish one which is now in the possession of gardai.

Asked by his solicitor Michael Staines if he was giving an undertaking not to apply for new travel documents, he replied: “I am your Honour” – with a slight American twang

Counsel for the State, Dean Kelly, had argued that since Mr Drumm went to America in 2009 he: “engaged in a careful and considered and perfectly lawful attempt to ensure that this day never came”.

Mr Kelly said Mr Drumm led investigators on “merry dance” and fought “tooth and claw” to avoid extradition to Ireland.

The former banker was accompanied by gardai on Aer Lingus flight EI136 from Boston which touched down at 5.10am today.

He was arrested at 5.30am and then escorted to an unmarked car which whisked him off to Ballymun Garda station where 33 charges were put to him.

Dressed in a navy business suit, the former Anglo boss was brought by gardai to the Criminal Courts of Justice in Dublin city-centre. He then had to make his appearance before Judge Michael Walsh at Dublin District Court.

Det Sgt Michael Prendergast and Det Sgt Michael McKenna of the fraud squad said Mr Drumm made no reply to the charges.

Some of the offences can on conviction carry possible sentences of up to 10 years while others have unlimited terms, Judge Walsh was told.

In the objection to bail, Det Sgt McKenna said Mr Drumm (49) was a flight risk with the “capacity to marshal significant sums of money” despite having €8.5m of debts.  

He agreed with Dean Kelly BL for the DPP that Mr Drumm was a “voluntary exile” in the United States since 2009 and had not co-operated with the investigation or attempts to arrange meetings to be interviewed at venues in Ireland, the United States or elsewhere.

The State argued Mr Drumm only agreed to return after his bail application in the United States failed and before that he led the two investigation agencies in Ireland – The Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation and the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement – on a “merry dance” and fought “tooth and claw” to avoid extradition. 

Det Sgt McKenna said Mr Drumm had placed himself beyond reach of both investigating agencies.

Mr Drumm spoke briefly when he entered the courtroom and the judge greeted him asked him to sit down.

“Good morning, thank you,” Mr Drumm replied.

He then turned and blew a kiss to family and friends in the public gallery of a packed court number three.

He then sat down with his hands clasped on his lap.

Documents from his US proceedings were considered by the judge for the purpose of deciding on bail.

Solicitor Deirdre Manninger for the State also said the DPP has directed Mr Drumm must face trial on indictment and a book of evidence was served.

He stood up to move his overcoat to make room for a box of evidence on his bench. His case will go forward to Dublin Circuit Criminal Court and could be split into two trials, neither of which is likely to get under-way until next year.

Some 31 of the charges related to his alleged role in the so-called Maple Ten transactions to secure Anglo's falling share price and two charges in relation to €7bn back-to-back transactions with Irish Life and Permanent designed to strengthen the bank's books.

There are six types of offences alleged including charges relating to forgery and falsifying documents, conspiracy to defraud, giving unlawful financial assistance for share-purchasing purposes, false accounting practices, and the disclosure of false or misleading information in a management report.

It follows a seven-year probe by detectives from the Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation attached to the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement into alleged financial irregularities at the failed bank which was later nationalised costing taxpayers €30bn.

Defence solicitor Michael Staines said his client learned via the media that he was going to face charges.

During the bail application, Mr Staines told the court his client could have fled to Canada, "a fantastic opportunity, two hours up the road" but he stayed in Boston.

He also said his client was not obliged to speak to the investigators and he only refused after got embroiled in separate bankruptcy proceedings.

Det Sgt McKenna agreed that after 2013 they did not contact Mr Drumm again but this, he added, was because they thought it would be a “futile exercise” and before that Mr Drumm “had not engaged in any meaningful way”.

The defence solicitor said Mr Drumm has 47 relatives in Ireland.

Four of them were prepared to  put their houses on the line to help him get bail. Mr Drumm offered to be electronically tagged but there are no provisions for that enacted yet in Irish law.

The defence solicitor said that if remanded in custody his client would not be able to prepare for his trial as he would not have access to the electronic evidence.

His wife is putting their Boston home up for  sale and she is returning to Ireland in June. Mr Staines said his client would surrender his passport and sign on twice daily at a Garda station.