Former Anglo Irish Bank chief executive David Drumm has been granted bail after a judge said the prosecution's concern of him being a flight risk simply does not hold up.
Mr Drumm (49) was extradited from the US overnight and brought before Dublin District Court on Monday morning to face 33 charges, including fraud, forgery, misleading management reporting, unlawful lending, falsifying documents and false accounting, linked to financial transactions prior to the collapse of Anglo. Mr Drumm has denied any wrongdoing.
As part of the bail conditions, judge Michael Walsh ordered Mr Drumm to live at Shenick Avenue in Skerries, Co Dublin and to sign on twice a day at Balbriggan Garda station.
The father of two confirmed to the court that he does not have a US passport and that his Irish passport is being held by gardaí.
Mr Drumm was also asked by the court if he was prepared to promise not to apply for a new passport. “I am of course, your honour,” he told the court.
The judge ordered Mr Drumm not to leave Ireland. The court heard seven relatives were in court who were prepared to sign over their homes as security for Mr Drumm’s bail. The names of four were required by the court.
The bail conditions also include Mr Drumm being ordered to put up €50,000 of his own to be lodged in court. Another two independent sureties of €50,000 were also ordered, with €25,000 to be produced in cash and the other sum shown in a bank account.
The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) had opposed a bail on the basis that it considered him a serious “flight risk” given the seriousness of the alleged offences.
During the court hearing, which began shortly before 11am solicitor, Michael Staines for Mr Drumm, rejected a claim from the prosecution that Mr Drumm had few ties to Ireland.
Mr Staines said Mr Drumm had 47 relatives living in Ireland and that his wife, Lorraine, was planning to sell their home in the US and return to Ireland in June this year.
The court also heard there were “millions of documents” and more than 400 hours of phone conversations linked to the case.
This volume of material would make it difficult for Mr Drumm to conduct his defence from prison, his solicitor argued.
Mr Staines also made the point that in mid-2014, gardaí made the US authorities aware that they wanted to extradite Mr Drumm.
However, Mr Staines said extradition documents were not submitted by the Irish authorities until the end of 2014.
Anyone “reading the media” would have known extradition was imminent and yet Mr Drumm did not flee, despite Canada being only “two hours up the road”, Mr Staines said.
Earlier, the court was told that the prosecution was opposed to bail based on the seriousness of the alleged offences and because Mr Drumm was considered a serious flight risk with the “capacity to marshal significant sums of money” despite having €8.5 million of debts.
Dean Kelly BL for the DPP said Mr Drumm was a “voluntary exile” in the United States since 2009 and had not co-operated with the investigation.
The State also argued Mr Drumm only returned home 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”.
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 waved to supporters in the public gallery of a packed court number three and then sat silently with his hands clasped on his lap.
Solicitor Deirdre Manninger for the State said the DPP had directed Mr Drumm must face trial on indictment and a book of evidence was served.
The court was told Mr Drumm had led investigators on “merry dance” and fought “tooth and claw” to avoid extradition to Ireland to face trial over €7 billion worth financial irregularities at the bank.
The court was told Mr Drumm faced charges of conspiracy to defraud and false accounting and the maximum sentence he could face on conviction of the charges before the court was 10 years.
The court heard there were two books of evidence and that in relation to one of these books, up to 120 witnesses could be called.
Of the 33 charges, 16 relate to Section 60 of the Companies Act and seven relate to Section 243 of the Companies Act.
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 €7 billion 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.
The court was told the prosecution had minutes and audio recordings of meetings and also other correspondence.
Mr Drumm was arrested at 5.30am after he arrived into Dublin airport on Aer Lingus flight EI136, accompanied by gardaí, from Boston after spending seven years in the US.
He was brought in the back of an unmarked Garda car to Ballymun Garda station where he was formally charged at 6.30am. The court heard he made no reply to any of the charges.
He was then brought to the Criminal Courts of Justice.
Mr Drumm has not yet entered a plea. If sent forward for trial, the case will be heard at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.
Monday’s hearing follows a seven-year investigation 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 €30 billion.