Deutsche Bank Fined $150M Over Ties To Jeffrey Epstein

WCBS 880 Newsroom
July 07, 2020 - 11:53 am

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — Deutsche Bank is being hit with a $150 million penalty for its monetary relationship with disgraced financier and registered sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

According to the New York State Department of Financial Services, the bank failed to properly monitor account activity conducted on Epstein's behalf "despite ample information that was publicly available concerning the circumstances surrounding Mr. Epstein’s earlier criminal misconduct." 

The department cited "significant compliance failures" and "a series of procedural failures, mistakes, and sloppiness" that resulted in Deutsche Bank allegedly processing hundreds of transactions totaling millions of dollars, including payments to people who were publicly alleged to have been Epstein's co-conspirators in sexually abusing women, as well as $7 million in settlements and $6 million in legal expenses.

“Banks are the first line of defense with respect to preventing the facilitation of crime through the financial system, and it is fundamental that banks tailor the monitoring of their customers’ activity based upon the types of risk that are posed by a particular customer,” Superintendent of Financial Services Linda A. Lacewell  said. “In each of the cases that are being resolved today, Deutsche Bank failed to adequately monitor the activity of customers that the Bank itself deemed to be high risk. In the case of Jeffrey Epstein in particular, despite knowing Mr. Epstein’s terrible criminal history, the Bank inexcusably failed to detect or prevent millions of dollars of suspicious transactions.” 

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a statement, "No matter how rich, how big or how powerful an institution you are, predatory behavior of any type will not be tolerated in New York. For years, Mr. Epstein's criminal, abusive behavior was widely known, yet big institutions continued to excuse that history and lend their credibility or services for financial gain. 

He added, "While Washington has routinely looked the other way when it comes to punishing financial institutions, New York and the Department of Financial Services will continue to take its role as a strong regulator seriously and will use every possible tool to protect New Yorkers from predatory behavior in all its forms."

Epstein's alleged procurer and former girlfriend, Ghislaine Maxwell, was arrested on federal charges last week in New Hampshire on charges related to the Epstein scandal.

Epstein, who was charged with sexually abusing numerous underage girls over several years, killed himself in his cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center last August while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges.

The bank's settlement with the state also covered its relationship with two foreign Danske Bank Estonia, which is at the center of one of the world’s largest money laundering scandals,  and FBME Bank. 

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