New York’s state Department of Financial Services has fined Deutsche Bank $150 million.
For negligence in its dealings with the late financier and registered sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, New York fined Deutsche Bank $150 million.
The bank, which has agreed to the penalty, “failed to properly monitor account activity conducted on behalf of the registered sex offender despite ample information that was publicly available concerning the circumstances surrounding Mr. Epstein’s earlier criminal misconduct.” The financier’s dubious transactions include $2.65 million in 120 wire transfers to people including three named as co-conspirators in lawsuits related to Epstein’s 2008 guilty plea to prostitution charges in Florida, according to the settlement accord. The three are not named in the settlement document, which cited published reports of the suits, including one allegedly involving accusations of recruiting girls for Epstein. Deutsche Bank ultimately decided to drop Epstein as a client in late 2018, after the Miami Herald detailed some of the generous terms of Epstein’s sentencing accord with federal prosecutors from a decade earlier, but still drafted reference letters on his behalf to send to other banks, the regulator said, per CBS News.
“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 Lacewell said in a statement.
“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.”
“Today serves as a reminder of how vigilant we must remain,” Deutsche Bank CEO Christian Sewing said in a statement to employees. Noting the bank’s former relationship with Epstein, Sewing wrote that bringing him on as a client was “a critical mistake and should never have happened.”