Deutsche Bank to Pay $75 Million to Settle Lawsuit over Jeffrey Epstein

Deutsche Bank to Pay $75 Million to Settle Lawsuit over Jeffrey Epstein

Deutsche Bank has agreed to pay $75 million to resolve a federal lawsuit accusing the bank of enabling and profiting from its customer Jeffrey Epstein’s sex trafficking of young women. Epstein, a sex predator, had been a customer of JPMorgan from 1998 through 2013, and after JPMorgan ended its banking relationship with him, he became a customer of Deutsche Bank. JPMorgan, on the other hand, has been left to defend its own would-be class action lawsuit by Epstein accusers.

The Settlement Agreement

Under the settlement agreement, which was first reported by The Wall Street Journal, Deutsche Bank will set aside $75 million for Epstein accusers who were affected by his sex trafficking during the period he was a customer of the bank from 2013 through 2018. The victims would receive at least $75,000 and up to $5 million depending on an evaluation of their claims. Deutsche Bank spokesman Dylan Riddle refused to comment on the deal, but noted that the bank has spent more than 4 billion euros to strengthen internal financial controls.

The two law firms representing the accusers, Edwards Pottinger and Boies Schiller Flexner, have hailed the settlement agreement as “groundbreaking” and the “culmination of two law firms conducting more than a decade-long investigation to hold one of Epstein’s financial banking partners responsible for the role it played in facilitating his trafficking organization.”

The lawsuit, which was seeking class-action status, was filed in November by a woman using the pseudonym Jane Doe. She alleged that Deutsche Bank knowingly participated in and financially benefited from participating in Epstein’s sex trafficking by providing the requisite financial support for the continued operation of that scheme.

Deutsche Bank also knew that Epstein would use means of force, threats of force, fraud, abuse of legal process, exploitation of power disparity, and a variety of other forms of coercion to cause young women and girls to engage in commercial sex acts, the suit says. “Knowing that they would earn millions of dollars from facilitating Epstein’s sex trafficking, and from its relationship with Epstein, Deutsche Bank chose profit over following the law,” the suit said. “Specifically, Deutsche Bank chose facilitating a sex trafficking operation in order to churn profits.”

Epstein killed himself in a Manhattan federal jail in August 2019, a month after being arrested on federal child sex trafficking charges. His arrest in that case came 10 years after he served a jail sentence of more than a year for pleading guilty in Florida state court to soliciting sex for money from an underage girl. That 2008 guilty plea was widely publicized.

JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon, who has said the bank is not liable for sex trafficking by Epstein, is due to be deposed in the lawsuit brought by Epstein accusers in the US District Court in Manhattan, and a related one by the government of the US Virgin Islands on May 26.

Deutsche Bank has acknowledged its error onboarding Epstein in 2013 and the weaknesses in its processes and has learnt from its mistakes and shortcomings. The bank agreed to pay a $150 million fine to New York’s financial regulator for its dealings with Epstein and other issues in 2020.

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