IBRC urges US court to uphold Drumm’s bankruptcy denial

Lawyers say former banker ‘strategically omitted information’ from court filings

Lawyers for the former Anglo Irish Bank have urged a US appeals court to reject a second bid by the bank's former chief executive David Drumm to overturn a ruling denying him a discharge from bankruptcy.

The now defunct nationalised lender and Mr Drumm's US bankruptcy trustee Kathleen Dwyer argue through their lawyers in his case before the First Circuit Court of Appeals that the Massachusetts bankruptcy court's refusal to grant him a fresh financial start should stand.

They claim in a new court filing that although Mr Drumm was required to make truthful initial disclosures in his bankruptcy court process, he "strategically omitted information, provided misleading testimony and forced a belaboured discovery process."

Mr Drumm was denied a discharge in January 2015 after he was found to have knowingly and fraudulently failed to disclose transfers of cash and property to his wife in his bankruptcy filings to the court.

READ MORE

The Dubliner (49) has blamed the US bankruptcy lawyer who prepared his bankruptcy filings for the omissions and told the appeals court in April that the lawyer "may have underestimated… the highly political motivations" of the bank, which renamed Irish Bank Resolution Corporation and contested his bankruptcy in the US courts.

He argued that the bankruptcy court’s findings of fact were “illogical, implausible and are without support in the record.”

The bank and bankruptcy trustee’s latest filing describes Mr Drumm’s claim that he voluntarily disclosed everything “demonstrably false” and that he has offered no record “to question any of the bankruptcy court’s well-supported findings - much less overturn all of them.”

In the court submission filed on Tuesday in Boston, the attorneys state: “From start to finish, Drumm chose to play fast and loose with the bankruptcy process, was caught and lost his discharge.”

They continued: “He blames his advisers for the nondisclosure of the massive cash and real estate transfers to his wife, but he affirmatively admits that he received no advice from any adviser not to disclose these transfers.”

In the latest development in Mr Drumm’s five-year-old bankruptcy proceedings, they say that there was “nothing unfair about holding Drumm accountable for his fraudulent and mendacious conduct.”

The former bank chief executive moved to the US in 2009, six months after resigning from Anglo, and filed for bankruptcy in Massachusetts in 2010 after failing to reach a settlement with the bank over debts of more than €10 million that he owed the lender he ran for almost four years.

In the 2015 ruling, a US bankruptcy judge found 30 counts of fraudulent conduct against Mr Drumm under the bankruptcy code when only one was required to deny him a discharge from bankruptcy.

Judge Frank Bailey found the former banker "not remotely credible" and his sworn statements to be "replete with knowingly false statements, failures to disclose, efforts to misdirect and outright lies."

A US District Court judge supported that ruling in Mr Drumm’s first appeal last November saying that his failure to list assets was done to hinder or delay and that the argument that this was intentional and fraudulent was “wholly logical, plausible and supported by the record.”

Mr Drumm returned to Ireland in March and faces two trials in connection with alleged offences committed while he was chief executive of Anglo in 2008 as the bank was embroiled in the financial crisis.

Simon Carswell

Simon Carswell

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