The life of Jeffrey Epstein
New York (CNN Business)New York regulators fined Deutsche Bank $150 million Tuesday and slammed the lender for “mistakes and sloppiness” in its relationship with accused sex-trafficker Jeffrey Epstein.
Authorities said Deutsche Bank’s “significant compliance failures” allowed Epstein to conduct hundreds of transactions totaling millions of dollars that should have prompted additional scrutiny.
The penalties, which also relate to Deutsche Bank (DB)‘s ties to scandal-ridden financial institutions Danske Bank Estonia and FBME Bank, are the first enforcement actions by regulators against a bank for dealings with Epstein.
The New York State Department of Financial Services said Deutsche Bank failed to detect “many subsequent suspicious transactions” conducted by Epstein.
Those suspicious transactions included payments to individuals who were publicly alleged to have been Epstein’s co-conspirators in sexually abusing young women — as well as payments to Russian models, school tuitions for several women and hotel expenses to numerous women with Eastern European last names, regulators said.
Regulators said Deutsche Bank, Germany’s largest bank, failed to properly monitor account activity conducted on behalf of the registered sex offender “despite ample information that was publicly available” linked to his earlier criminal misconduct.
“Despite knowing Mr. Epstein’s terrible criminal history, the bank inexcusably failed to detect or prevent millions of dollars of suspicious transactions,” Linda Lacewell, superintendent of New York State Department of Financial Services, said in a statement.
In a statement, Deutsche Bank acknowledged its “error of onboarding Epstein in 2013 and the weaknesses in our processes, and have learnt from our mistakes and shortcomings.”
The bank said it immediately contacted law enforcement to offer assistance after Epstein’s arrest. It has also invested nearly $1 billion in training, controls and operational processes and has hired more than 1,500 people to its financial crime team.
“Our reputation is our most valuable asset and we deeply regret our association with Epstein,” the bank said.
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