Deutsche Bank settles US$75m in Epstein-linked sex trafficking lawsuit
Deutsche Bank agreed to pay US$75 million to settle a lawsuit that accused the financial institution of profiting from its involvement in Jeffrey Epstein’s sex trafficking activities. The settlement is related to a proposed class-action lawsuit filed in November 2022 by an unnamed plaintiff who claimed the German bank knowingly conducted business with Epstein while he used the account to fund sex-trafficking operations.
Although Deutsche Bank has not admitted any wrongdoing, the original complaint filed in a US court in New York stated that the bank financially benefited from supporting Epstein’s “sex trafficking organisation to successfully rape, sexually assault and coercively sex traffic Plaintiff Jane Doe 1 and the numerous other members of the Class.”
Epstein, an American financier who committed suicide in 2019 while awaiting trial for sex crimes, began banking with Deutsche Bank in 2013 after JPMorgan Chase closed his accounts. The latter bank faced separate lawsuits late last year from an unidentified woman and the US Virgin Islands, accusing JPMorgan of facilitating Epstein’s crimes by ignoring warnings and keeping him as a client until 2013. Court documents reveal that subpoenas in those cases have targeted multiple high-profile individuals, including Elon Musk and Google co-founder Larry Page, whom Epstein may have referred to JPMorgan as clients.
JPMorgan denied the allegations and filed its own lawsuit against a former executive for his connections to Epstein. In July 2020, Deutsche Bank agreed to pay US$150 million to settle allegations brought by the New York Department of Financial Services for compliance failures related to the bank’s work with Epstein. Deutsche Bank said in July 2020…
“We acknowledge our error of onboarding Epstein in 2013 and the weaknesses in our processes, and have learnt from our mistakes and shortcomings.”
Epstein was convicted in Florida in 2008 of paying young girls for massages but served only 13 months in jail under a secret plea deal. He was later charged with trafficking underage girls for sex, leading to his suicide in a New York jail in August 2019.
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