Deutsche Bank Agrees to $75 Million Settlement in Lawsuit from Jeffrey Epstein Victims
Trigger Warning: This article contains themes of sexual abuse and human trafficking that some readers may find distressing.
In a groundbreaking settlement, Deutsche Bank has agreed to compensate a woman, identified as Jane Doe through court documents, with an estimated $75 million to settle a class-action lawsuit filed by her. The woman alleged that Jeffrey Epstein sexually abused and trafficked her from 2003 to 2018. She also claimed that the German bank ignored the warning signs, including payments from its accounts to multiple young women. According to Daily Mail, Doe sued the bank through a federal district court in New York and sought class-action status to represent other victims of Epstein.
Deutsche Bank has paid at least $225 million to settle cases over keeping more than 40 accounts for the late, disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein, who allegedly used the accounts to fund a sex trafficking ring—a legal snarl that could also cost JPMorgan Chase. pic.twitter.com/4NujHjrYga— Forbes (@Forbes) May 18, 2023
Forbes reported that Epstein had been a member of the Deutsche Bank’s Key Client Partners group and used an opaque nonprofit charity account by the name Gratitude America to accrue tax benefits and divert funds without indulging in any charity activities. The lawsuit filed by Doe stated that the bank "knowingly benefitted from Epstein’s sex trafficking" and “chose profit over following the law” to make millions of dollars from the accused businessman.
The law firms Edwards Pottinger and Boies Schiller Flexner released a joint statement that read, “This groundbreaking settlement is 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 organisation."
The German bank has already paid an estimated $225 million to settle cases for operating an alleged 40 accounts for the late finance entrepreneur, who used the said accounts to "fund a sex trafficking ring." Deutsche Bank was also fined to the tune of $150 million by New York regulators in 2020 for its alleged failure “to detect or prevent millions of dollars of suspicious transactions,” as it looked into “very few” of Epstein’s transactions that rose suspicion, including $13 million in payments to the victims, his alleged co-conspirators and for his legal expenses. There is no official statement from the bank regarding the same, however, a spokesperson told Forbes that the bank “acknowledges the error of onboarding” Epstein in 2013.
While addressing the bank's mistake Frank Hartmann, the head of media relations had exclusively said in a 2020 written statement, “The bank has invested more than four billion euros (£3.5 billion) to bolster controls, processes and training and hired more people to fight financial crime." Hartmann acknowledged the fact that the Deutsche Bank had made a mistake in taking on the late sex offender, Jeffrey Epstein, as a client.
The German financial lender also stated that it provided “routine banking services” to Epstein from 2013 to 2018 and the lawsuit “does not come close to adequately alleging that Deutsche Bank was part of Epstein’s criminal sex trafficking ring”. It had also previously joined JPMorgan Chase, which also faced a lawsuit over its ties to the accused. Epstein died by suicide in prison while awaiting a ruling over his criminal charges.
If you are being subjected to sexual assault, or know of anyone who is, please call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800.656.HOPE (4673).