The Strategist

Deutsche Bank fined $150M for connections with Epstein and money laundering banks

07/08/2020 - 02:50

The New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) announced an agreement with Deutsche Bank, under which the bank will pay a fine of $ 150 million. A fine is imposed for "significant violations" committed by the bank in servicing accounts of the infamous financier Jeffrey Epstein, as well as in the course of business cooperation with Danske Bank Estonia and FBME Bank.

Elliott Brown via flickr
Elliott Brown via flickr
The New York watchdog noted that while servicing Mr. Epstein’s accounts accused of sex trafficking, organizing prostitution and sex with minors, Deutsche Bank “was unable to properly control transactions... for millions of dollars, which could well cause additional attention to the activities of Mr. Epstein.”

Among these transactions, DFS calls “payments to individuals who have been publicly accused of abusing Epstein in committing sexual harassment of women, payments to Russian models, payments for hotel stays and renting real estate, direct payments to numerous women with Eastern European surnames, periodic suspicious cash withdrawals - a total of $ 800 thousand - for four years.”

DFS also noted that in relation to Deutsche Bank's business cooperation with the Estonian branch of Danske Bank and the Tanzanian FBME, which worked with clients in Cyprus and in Russia, “Deutsche Bank was not able to properly control activities of their foreign clients related to operations on their accounts and clearing in dollars.” 

The authority noted that “Danske Estonia was at the center of a scandal over the withdrawal of large funds from Russian oligarchs... and Deutsche Bank was unable to take appropriate measures that would prevent Danske Estonia from transferring billions of dollars through suspicious transactions through Deutsche Bank accounts in New York”. The regulator notes that in a similar way, Deutsche Bank until the very last moment continued its contacts with the FBME bank, which was accused by US regulators of money laundering, despite the fact that Deutsche Bank itself considered the FBME a high-risk client.