Deutsche Bank settles with women sex trafficked by Jeffrey Epstein for $75 million

Lawyers for the plaintiffs told the $75 million figure may have been the largest sex-trafficking settlement involving a bank.

Deutsche Bank has settled a class-action lawsuit for $75 million that alleged the financial institution facilitated convicted child sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein’s sex-trafficking ring.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the money will compensate dozens of Epstein’s accusers who will each receive $75,000, and possibly more money if they make claims against Deutsche to an administrator of the $75 million settlement, which could potentially mean receiving a payment of over $5 million. 

The settlement is pending approval by a federal judge.

The outlet reported that a woman who is anonymous in court documents filed the suit in 2022 in New York on behalf of herself and other alleged victims. In the suit, the woman listed as Jane Doe claimed Deutsche Bank did business with Epstein for five years while knowing that he was using funds in his accounts for sex-trafficking schemes. 

The woman alleged that from 2003 to 2018 she was sexually abused by Epstein and trafficked to his friends and that she was paid in cash for sex acts while the financial giant ignored red flags, including payments to many young women.

In 2019, the convicted child sex trafficker died in a New York federal jail while awaiting trial on charges of sex trafficking. 

A spokesman for Deutsche Bank, Dylan Riddle, said, “In recent years Deutsche Bank has made considerable progress in remedying a number of past issues.” He added that the bank has invested over $4.34 billion, to increase controls, training, and operational processes noting that it has also grown the number of employees working on combating financial crime.

Lawyers for the plaintiffs from Boies Schiller Flexner and Edwards Pottinger told The Journal that the $75 million figure may have been the largest ever sex trafficking settlement involving a bank. In a joint statement, they wrote, “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 organization.”
The complaint against Deutsche Bank was one of a pair of lawsuits against banks that allegedly enabled Epstein to recruit and groom hundreds of underage girls for his sex ring.

The other lawsuit was filed against JPMorgan Chase by the same law firms. Additionally, the US Virgin Islands also sued JPMorgan in 2022, alleging that the financial institution facilitated Epstein’s alleged sex trafficking and abuse by allowing the convicted child sex trafficker to remain one of their clients and assisted him in sending money to his victims.

The suits were filed in November when New York state created a one-year window during which people who claim to have been sexually assaulted could file lawsuits regardless of when the alleged conduct may have occurred. 

In 2020, Deutsche Bank was fined $150 million by New York state’s financial regulator for not adequately monitoring its dealings with Epstein and other violations.

According to the regulator, Epstein, his associates, and entities had over 40 accounts at Deutsche Bank. The financial institution has reportedly admitted it was a mistake to take the sex offender as a client.

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