Central Bank asked David Drumm to 'tog out for Ireland' during financial crisis, trial hears

72
Central Bank asked David Drumm to 'tog out for Ireland' during financial crisis, trial hears
Central Bank asked David Drumm to 'tog out for Ireland' during financial crisis, trial hears

Anglo Irish Bank’s former CEO David Drumm was the “captain of the ship heading into a storm” in September 2008, and did what he had to to get through it, his lawyers have told a jury.On day 78 of Mr Drumm’s conspiracy to defraud trial at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court, Brendan Grehan SC told the jury that his client never set out to commit any kind of fraud.He said that the Central Bank came to Mr Drumm during the international financial crisis and asked him and others to “tog out for Ireland”.It is the State’s case that Mr Drumm conspired with Irish Life & Permanent’s former CEO, Denis Casey, Anglo’s former financial director Willie McAteer and former Head of Treasury at Anglo, John Bowe, and others to carry out €7.2 billion in fraudulent transactions in order to bolster the customer deposits figure on the bank’s balance sheet.“In hindsight Anglo may have had insurmountable problems, but when you are in the middle of a crisis, hope springs eternal,” Mr Grehan said.He said Mr Drumm did his best in good faith, in the circumstances which arose. He did not morph into a criminal mastermind who committed the biggest fraud in criminal history.Mr Grehan told the jury the transactions between Anglo and Irish Life and Permanent (ILP) in September 2008 took place in a particular context, unrivalled in living memory.“Mr Drumm has never shirked responsibility for them,” he said, referring to the series of admissions made by Mr Drumm on the opening day of his trial.He said Mr Drumm had never denied anything he did in relation to the transactions and “straight up” accepted responsibility for them.“He did not try to blame anyone down in the engine room for bringing the ship onto the rocks”, counsel said.“He disputes that there was fraud or dishonesty. That’s the single issue in this trial,” he said.Counsel described Anglo as one of the most reviled institutions in living memory and asked jurors to keep an open mind in accordance with their oath.He reminded them that this case concerned a very specific set of transactions and was not about the ills Anglo was perceived to have caused to the country.He said the jury were being asked to find a massive conspiracy to defraud yet the prosecution say they don’t need to prove anyone lost a penny.Mr Grehan said the transactions had been carried out openly and transparently and that the Financial Regulator had been told of them by October 1, 2008, and had not objected to Anglo’s accounts being published in December 2008.“The prosecution have a theory that this was the biggest fraud in Ireland and will keep repeating the words dishonest and fraud until they are blue in the face and you accept that that’s what happened here,” he told the jury.He said some members of the bank’s audit committee were “captains of industry” yet had decided that no explanatory note needed to be attached to Anglo’s preliminary accounts of December 2008.Mr Drumm was not a member of this grouping and they were there to correct his homework, Mr Grehan said.Mr Grehan suggested the case had been billed as something greater than it was. He said the jurors must have been salivating at the mouth when they first heard about it and must have looked forward to getting stuck into some “real badness”. He said the charges did not live up to their billing.He said there was no evidence that anyone stole a cent or lost anything or gained anything in relation to this transaction and there was no evidence anyone had €7.2bn stashed away in a Cayman Island account.David Drumm (aged 51) of Skerries, Co Dublin, has pleaded not guilty to conspiring with former bank officials Denis Casey, William McAteer, John Bowe and others to defraud depositors and investors at Anglo by “dishonestly” creating the impression that deposits in 2008 were €7.2 billion larger than they were.The former Anglo Irish CEO has also pleaded not guilty to false accounting on December 3, 2008, by furnishing information to the market that Anglo’s 2008 deposits were €7.2 billion larger than they were.Mr Drumm accepts that the multi-million euro transactions took place between Anglo and ILP in 2008 but disputes that they were fraudulent or dishonest.Mr Grehan will conclude his remarks to the jury tomorrow before Judge Karen O’Connor delivers her charge to the 10 men and four women.
Source: Business News