Deutsche Bank agreed to pay $75 million to settle a lawsuit accusing the company of failing to recognize the sex trafficking conducted by Jeffrey Epstein, the deceased pedophile hedge fund manager who was once a client of the firm.
Lawyers for an alleged Epstein victim, identified only as Jane Doe in court documents, filed a lawsuit against Deutsche Bank earlier this year and claimed that the German financial institution knowingly benefited from the Epstein trafficking scheme. Deutsche Bank received most of the Epstein hedge fund’s business after his partnership with JPMorgan Chase, the largest investment bank in the United States, concluded in 2013.
Edwards Pottinger, one of the law firms representing the victim and other women, said in a statement that the settlement with Deutsche Bank “will allow dozens of survivors of Jeffrey Epstein to finally attempt to restore their faith in our system knowing that all individuals and entities who facilitated Epstein’s sex trafficking operation will finally be held accountable.” Boies Schiller Flexner, another law firm which represents the victims, likewise said that “the scope and scale of Epstein’s abuse, and the many years it continued in plain sight, could not have happened without the collaboration and support of many powerful individuals and institutions.”
U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff tossed most charges against JPMorgan Chase and Deutsche Bank earlier this year in the proposed class action lawsuits from the Epstein accuser, who was joined by officials from the U.S. Virgin Islands, where Epstein owned an island estate called Little St. James before his apparent suicide in 2019. Lawyers are allowed to contend that the firms benefited from the sex trafficking scheme by providing Epstein with financial services.
“Epstein’s sex trafficking operation was impossible without the assistance of JPMorgan Chase, and later Deutsche Bank, and we assure the public that we will leave no stone unturned in our quest for justice for the many victims who deserved better from one of America’s largest financial institutions,” lawyers for the U.S. Virgin Islands and the Epstein victim previously said.
Epstein worked with JPMorgan Chase between 1998 and 2013 despite pleading guilty to two counts of soliciting prostitution from a teenage girl in 2008.
The disgraced late financier had a deeper relationship with employees of the investment bank than the company previously admitted, according to a recent report from The Wall Street Journal. Mary Erdoes, a senior lieutenant to veteran JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, visited Epstein’s townhouse on the Upper East Side of Manhattan in 2011 and 2013, unnamed people familiar with the matter told the outlet. Erdoes also corresponded with Epstein via email about a charitable fund JPMorgan Chase was seeking to launch.
John Duffy, who formerly led JPMorgan Chase’s private bank, reportedly visited the townhouse in 2013 for a meeting. The company renewed an authorization one month later, permitting Epstein to borrow funds against his account despite multiple warnings from compliance officers. Justin Nelson, a banker who worked with Epstein at JPMorgan Chase, traveled to a New Mexico ranch owned by the pedophile in 2016 and participated in a handful of meetings at the Manhattan townhouse between 2014 and 2017.
Dimon is scheduled to be deposed behind closed doors this month. Attorneys uncovered communications from employees who mentioned a “Dimon review” into the firm’s relationship with Epstein, according to a report from the Financial Times based on unnamed sources.
Lawyers for the U.S. Virgin Islands issued a subpoena against Elon Musk this week for alleged documents related to the legal proceedings against JPMorgan Chase. The Tesla and SpaceX chief executive, who is not accused of wrongdoing, denies that he had any such documents.