David Drumm files fresh appeal on failed bankruptcy bid

Former Anglo Irish Bank chief lodges second appeal seeking to walk away from €10m debt

Former Anglo Irish Bank chief executive David Drumm has lodged a second appeal against his rejected US bankruptcy bid.

Lawyers for the 49-year-old Dubliner filed legal papers in the US on Wednesday notifying the Massachusetts District Court that he was appealing a ruling last month to the First Circuit Court of Appeals.

On November 20th District Judge Leo Sorokin upheld a January ruling of Bankruptcy Judge Frank Bailey denying Mr Drumm a discharge from debts of €10 million and a fresh financial start.

Judge Sorokin said that Judge Bailey made "no mistake" either in an error of law or an erroneous finding of fact in reaching his decision.

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He upheld Judge Bailey’s judgement that Mr Drumm’s failure to list assets transferred to his wife was intentional and fraudulent, saying the ruling was “wholly logical, plausible and supported by the record”.

The District Judge found that that Mr Drumm’s six-day bankruptcy trial last year showed that his signed bankruptcy declarations were “not remotely true or correct”.

The reasons given for his omissions of €680,000 in cash transfers to his wife Lorraine in the two years before he filed for bankruptcy in Massachusetts in October 2010 were "ever-changing," said the judge.

The ruling marked a major setback for the former banker leaving him personally liable for his debts and facing financial ruin.

Mr Drumm’s decision to appeal the ruling to a higher court pushes his case to the three-judge appeals court, a level below the US Supreme Court, reflecting his determination to have his debts wiped out.

Mr Drumm's former bank, now Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC), challenge his bankruptcy, claiming that he should not be granted a write-off of debts because of his failure to disclose asset transfers to his wife.

Extradition

In separate proceedings before the Massachusetts District Court, Mr Drumm is fighting extradition back to Ireland to face 33 criminal charges relating to transactions carried out while he ran Anglo.

He has been held in custody in New England since his arrest on October 10th on an extradition request from the Irish authorities.

Mr Drumm is awaiting a decision by Massachusetts Magistrate Judge Donald Cabell on whether he will be granted bail pending his extradition hearing scheduled for March 1st, 2016.

"I have no intention of going anywhere," he told the judge at a bail hearing in Boston last month, indicating his willingness to remain in the US under home detention and contest the extradition request.

His decision to appeal the District Court ruling in his bankruptcy case means that he is fighting legal challenges on two fronts, in two separate courts in John Joseph Moakley Courthouse in Boston.

Simon Carswell

Simon Carswell

Simon Carswell is The Irish Times’s Public Affairs Editor and former Washington correspondent