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Former Irish banker David Drumm to fight extradition

Criminal charges await him in Ireland

Former Anglo Irish Bank CEO David Drumm sat with his attorney, Tracy Miner, in federal court Tuesday. Miner said Drumm will fight extradition to Ireland, where he faces 33 charges in connection with the bank’s failure.
Former Anglo Irish Bank CEO David Drumm sat with his attorney, Tracy Miner, in federal court Tuesday. Miner said Drumm will fight extradition to Ireland, where he faces 33 charges in connection with the bank’s failure. Jane Collins/Reuters

Irish banker David K. Drumm, who has been living in Wellesley and evading Irish authorities for six years, will spend at least a few more days in jail, awaiting a bail hearing set for Friday.

The former chief executive of Anglo Irish Bank appeared Tuesday in federal court in Boston to face extradition proceedings to Ireland. At home, he has been charged with 33 criminal offenses related to the failure of the bank he ran from 2005 through 2008.

Drumm, 48, was led into court in handcuffs and ankle chains, wearing a blue oxford shirt and dark jeans Tuesday afternoon. He left his country amid the global banking crisis, first taking residence at a $4.6 million estate on Cape Cod and then moving to a $2 million home in Wellesley, where he was arrested Saturday at the request of Irish authorities.

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His lawyer, Tracy Miner, said she plans to ask that Drumm be released on bail. She also complained about Drumm being picked up on a holiday weekend.

“I think it was unfair that he had to sit in a cell in the Wellesley Police Department that did not even have a bed, for three days,’’ Miner said in an e-mail. Drumm is expected to be moved to another facility, she said.

At a later court date, in November, Miner plans to argue against his extradition, she said. She will do so despite an agreement between the Irish and US state departments to return the head of the failed bank to his home country to face criminal charges.

A prosecutor for the US attorney’s office, Amy Burkart, said she would argue on behalf of the Irish government against bail for Drumm, saying he is a flight risk.

Meanwhile, new details about the Irish government’s case against Drumm became public in the US attorney’s extradition complaint.

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In January 2009, Irish financial regulators filed a complaint with the Irish national police, alleging “a number of suspected malpractices” within Anglo Irish, according to the US complaint. The official charges include falsifying documents, conspiracy to defraud, and illegally directing the bank to make loans to an investor betting on the company’s stock.

In particular, the complaint alleged that Drumm helped enable a vast and devastating bet on the bank’s stock by Sean Quinn, once the richest man in Ireland. Quinn in 2005 allegedly began to build a 28 percent stake in the bank by purchasing derivatives called “contracts for difference.”

As the banking crisis exploded and the bank’s share price plunged, Quinn requested hundreds of millions of dollars in loans from Anglo Irish to prop up his position. Drumm allegedly facilitated the loans to Quinn and his family and failed to disclose the information about Quinn’s investment in financial reports.

Other Anglo Irish executives have denied similar charges.

While the banking crisis has largely faded from headlines in the United States, in Ireland, coverage of Anglo Irish, Drumm, and his colleagues is major news. Members of the Irish press flocked to federal court in Boston this week to cover the potential extradition of a man who came to symbolize the excesses of the banking system.

Irish banking regulators took over Anglo Irish in January 2009, the month after Drumm fled to Boston, in a bailout that cost taxpayers there more than $40 billion and hurt Ireland’s economy.

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There have been 33 warrants for Drumm’s arrest outstanding since last year, issued by a judge of the District Court in the Dublin Metropolitan District.

Drumm filed for federal bankruptcy protection in Boston in 2010, but Judge Frank Bailey denied him a discharge, calling him not credible. Drumm is appealing the decision.


Beth Healy can be reached at beth.healy@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @HealyBeth.