What's happened? David Drumm, the former chief executive of Anglo Irish Bank, was arrested last Saturday by US federal agents in Massachusetts, folllowing an extradition request, more than six years after the bank's demise.
Why was he detained? The 48-year-old former banker was arrested on the extradition request from the Irish Government processed through the US department of justice and the US attorney's office in Boston. The Irish authorities want him returned to Ireland to face 33 charges, including forgery, conspiracy to defraud and false accounting, relating to transactions carried out in late 2007 and 2008, when the bank was scrambling to avoid collapse during the financial crisis.
Why was he arrested in the US? Drumm moved to Massachusetts in June 2009, settling with his wife and two daughters in the wealthy Boston commuter town of Wellesley, six months after resigning from Anglo Irish Bank.
What are the transactions behind the criminal charges Drumm faces? It is alleged that the Dubliner broke six laws (three of them multiple times) in two series of transactions. The first propped up Anglo's share price and the second made the bank's funding position look better than it was, both closely watched barometers in the crisis.
What exactly were the transactions? Prosecutors claim that Drumm "orchestrated" the unwinding of a huge investment taken by the businessman Sean Quinn, linked to Anglo's shares, by providing unlawful financial assistance in lending hundreds of millions of euro to six Quinn family members and 10 customers of the bank. The loans were used to buy Anglo shares "to stabilise its share price". It is also alleged that Drumm told Anglo employees, including its director of treasury, Matt Cullen, to ask Irish Life & Permanent to agree to circular transactions with Anglo. The back-to-back deposits – €750 million in March 2008 and €7.2 billion in September 2008 – allowed the bank to present the deposits placed back with Anglo by a nonbanking subsidiary of Irish Life & Permanent as corporate deposits, which were viewed as a stronger funding. The transactions helped to mask the large outflows of deposits lost in runs on the bank.
Hasn't Drumm been in court in the US before? Yes, in relation to a civil matter. He filed for bankruptcy in Massachusetts, in 2010, and lost a six-day trial last year in his bid to have his debts wiped, including €8.5 million owed to his former bank.
Why is he being charged now, seven years after the crisis? Good question. The charges stem from a complaint dating back to February 2009. For years Drumm has refused to co-operate with the Garda investigations into Anglo and to return to Ireland to be interviewed.
Are these the first crisis-related charges brought over Anglo? No. Two of Drumm's former colleagues were convicted last year of company-law offences for Anglo's lending in the unwinding of Quinn's investment. Drumm is charged with the same offence on 16 counts, one for each of the loans. More trials on other offences are scheduled in 2016 and 2017.
Will Drumm be brought back to Ireland? If he is, it's unlikely to be soon. His lawyer Tracy Miner, a Boston attorney, told a judge at the first hearing in the extradition proceedings on Tuesday that the extradition case might have been brought "for a political purpose" and signalled that Drumm intends to fight it. She said it would take up to four months to prepare his defence. A hearing to decide whether Drumm should be released on bail pending his extradition hearing was postponed from yesterday until October 26th. His lawyer said she needed more time and to speak to counsel in Ireland about why special circumstances warranted his release.