Drumm hires high-profile US defence lawyer

Ex-Anglo chief moves to fight any extradition attempt and also direct bankruptcy appeal

Former Anglo Irish Bank chief executive David Drumm has hired one of Boston's top white-collar criminal defence lawyers to fight his bankruptcy appeal and any potential extradition proceedings he faces.

Tracy Miner, attorney with the Massachusetts firm Demeo, officially came on record on Thursday as Mr Drumm's lawyer in his legal attempt to overturn last month's ruling blocking a write-off of his debts.

Ms Miner replaces lawyers David Mack and Frank Morrissey who were unsuccessful in Mr Drumm's attempt to walk away from €9.5 million in debts in an action by his former bank, now Irish Bank Resolution Corporation, and the court-appointed bankruptcy trustee.

Well known in the Boston area, Ms Miner has defended corporations, financial institutions and public officials in high-profile white-collar criminal prosecutions.

In 2002 she represented former FBI agent John Connolly jnr in a US federal racketeering trial in which he was convicted of tipping off James “Whitey” Bulger, the notorious Irish-American gangster, about his imminent arrest allowing him to flee to avoid prosecution.

The late US senator Edward Kennedy appointed Ms Miner in 2009 to the selection committee that makes recommendations for appointments as US attorney, US marshal and US District Court judges.

Ms Miner said Mr Drumm intended to argue in his appeal that he should have received a discharge from his debts on the basis that he had no intention of defrauding his creditors and that he relied on the advice of his counsel, bankruptcy lawyers Looney & Grossman.

“A lot of the issues are very similar to things that people accused of white-collar crime have to face everyday,” she told The Irish Times.

Separate to the bankruptcy proceedings, the Irish State has started the process of trying to extradite Mr Drumm from the US to face criminal charges arising from the Garda investigations into Anglo.

An extradition file, outlining the charges preferred against Mr Drumm, was passed via Irish and US diplomatic channels to the US Department of Justice, which is still examining the matter.

Ms Miner said that neither she nor Mr Drumm had received any notice of any extradition proceedings against him.

“There has been no official word from any government agency that there are any extradition proceedings,” she said.

Drumm appeal

The only references they had seen to such proceedings were in the media, she said. She was not making any preparations in anticipation of such proceedings, she said, though she would represent Mr Drumm in his defence of such proceedings should they be taken.

Ms Miner said Mr Drumm had come to her through common acquaintances. It would be at least a few months before Mr Drumm’s appeal is considered by the court, she said.

Formerly with Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo – a prominent US law firm – Ms Miner’s current company is located in the heart of Boston’s financial district, on State Street, not far from the US offices of Anglo which were managed for a time by Mr Drumm.

In a damning ruling last month, Judge Bailey found that Mr Drumm had systematically transferred assets, property and cash, to his wife Lorraine to hinder, delay and defraud his creditors.

Following a six-day trial last summer, the judge concluded that Mr Drumm was “not remotely credible”; his conduct was “both knowing and fraudulent” and his statements were replete with “outright lies”.

Simon Carswell

Simon Carswell

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

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