Specialist US attorney appointed to fight for extradition of David Drumm

US attorney Eric Forni has been appointed to act for the US government in seeking the former banker’s return to Ireland

A US attorney specialising in white-collar criminal prosecutions has been appointed to fight for the extradition of former Anglo Irish Bank chief executive David Drumm.

A filing to the Boston court where Mr Drumm is challenging an extradition request from the Irish authorities said special assistant US attorney Eric Forni has been appointed to act for the US government in seeking the former banker's return to Ireland.

The 49-year-old Dubliner is wanted before the Dublin courts to face 33 charges relating to financial transactions carried out while Mr Drumm was chief executive of the bank.

His lawyers are contesting the charges and have questioned whether the charges have been brought for political reasons, an accusation denied by US government attorneys.


Senior enforcement

Mr Forni works as a senior enforcement at the federal government’s markets watchdog, the US Securities and

Exchange Commission


Based at the SEC's Boston office, he has worked for the US Attorney in Massachusetts in the prosecution of complex cases involving market-listed companies.

Working regularly with the FBI, he has investigated market violations and prosecuted enforcement cases as a member of the SEC’s division that polices market abuses.

The US District Court of Massachusetts has scheduled Mr Drumm’s extradition hearing for March 1st, 2016.

Boston Magistrate Judge Donald Cabell last week denied the former banker bail pending that hearing say that he had not proved special circumstances for his release.

Mr Drumm has employed a number of high-profile lawyers, including former US presidential adviser Edward McNally, to challenge the extradition request.

Mr McNally was appointed the first US general counsel for homeland security and counterterrorism after the September 11th, 2001 attacks.

Statement of issues

In Mr Drumm’s bid to have the rejection of his bankruptcy bid overturned, the former banker has filed a “statement of issues” record setting out grounds for his appeal and why he should be discharged from €10 million in debts.

In the court submission he raises 18 areas where a Boston bankruptcy court and subsequently the Massachusetts District Court in his appeal may have erred in refusing to grant him a fresh financial start.

Mr Drumm is appealing the decision to deny him a bankruptcy discharge to the First Circuit Court of Appeals, which is based in Boston, one court below the US Supreme Court after he failed in his District Court appeal.

Lawyers for Mr Drumm queried whether errors were made by US Bankruptcy Judge Frank Bailey on eight issues in his January ruling and by District Court Judge Leo Sorokin on 14 issues in a ruling last month.

Simon Carswell

Simon Carswell

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