THE GARDA THAT led the investigation into former Anglo Irish Bank CEO David Drumm said that yesterday’s sentencing sent out a message that Ireland takes this sort of crime seriously and “no stone will be left unturned” in prosecuting such cases.
The former Anglo chief was sentenced to six years in jail for his part in a multi-billion euro bank fraud scheme in 2008.
Earlier this month, a jury at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court returned unanimous verdicts of guilty on one charge of conspiracy to defraud and one of false accounting, after just over ten-and-a-half hours of deliberations.
It was the State’s case that Drumm conspired with a number of others to carry out €7.2 billion in fraudulent circular transactions in order to bolster the customer deposits figure on Anglo’s balance sheet.
Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, detective chief superintendent Pat Lordan said Drumm’s sentencing has come at the “end of a long road for An Garda Síochána”.
“It’s been a long nine years,” he said. “I know the members of the team have worked hard… right up to the end of the trial.”
Lordan said that, from the gardaí’s perspective, their investigation is now complete “insofar as the trial is finished and a conviction has been achieved”.
The investigation into Drumm was similar to other criminal investigations, he said, with up to 20 gardaí working on the case over the years.
Lordan said that the prosecution was a “credit to all those who followed it through” when others may have “run up against a brick wall”.
The senior garda noted that real harm had been done by Drumm’s crimes and that the public was entitled to have trust in blue chip companies. Prior to appearing on the show, extracts from the so-called Anglo Tapes of Drumm’s comments in 2008 were played.
He said: “The tapes don’t lie. You can hear the attitude to what was going on. Even for the jury, I think that was strong evidence.
It came out quite clearly in the court that Mr Drumm could not be blamed for the recession… [but] the purpose was to try to keep the bank alive when it was an impossible task to keep the bank alive.
Lordan added that Drumm’s prosecution and six-year sentence sent out a strong message that Ireland treats white collar crime very seriously and “no stone will be left unturned” in prosecuting such offenders.