A class action lawsuit has been filed accusing Deutsche Bank AG and JPMorgan Chase of “enabling” notorious sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, lawyers said Thursday.
The complaint comes two years after New York authorities authorized Deutsche Bank to conduct several “suspicious” transactions despite knowing Epstein’s criminal past.
Epstein “could not have been a victim without the help of high net worth individuals and financial institutions,” said Bradley Edwards, one of the attorneys who filed Wednesday’s lawsuit.
“The time has come to hold the real people accountable, especially his wealthy friends and the financial institutions that played a key role,” Edwards said in a statement to Deutsche Welle.
“These victims have been wronged not only by Epstein, but by many people.”
American media, including Bloomberg And this Wall Street JournalA spokesman for Deutsche Bank said the allegations are “baseless”.
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what we know about the lawsuits
Two separate lawsuits accused the financial institutions of knowingly profiting from and obtaining “things of value for the purposes of providing, aiding, inducing, and otherwise providing principal service to the Jeffrey Epstein sex trafficking organization.”
The lawsuit against Deutsche Bank’s New York branch points to findings from New York financial authorities investigating the bank’s relationship with Epstein. In 2020, the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) found that Deutsche Bank “inexplicably failed to detect or prevent millions of dollars in suspicious transactions for Epstein.”
The lawsuit against JP Morgan cited a British investigation into ties between Epstein and a former senior executive at the investment bank.
Deutsche Bank’s relationship with ultra-wealthy clients is making headlines
In September, Deutsche Bank agreed to pay $26.25 million (€25.2 million) to settle a legal dispute in New York over its relationships with ultra-wealthy clients.
A group of shareholders accused the bank of lax oversight of clients like Epstein and the Russian oligarch.
In the settlement, the bank denied any wrongdoing, according to Reuters news agency.
New York financial authorities also ordered Deutsche Bank to pay a $150 million fine in 2020 over its relationship with Epstein.
Since his death in 2019, a series of cases involving Epstein have come to light, with officials ruling them to be suicide.
In February, Britain’s Prince Andrew agreed to settle a lawsuit brought by Virginia Giuffre, who said she had met the prince through Epstein.
The latest cases against JPMorgan and Deutsche Bank come as New York state officials prepared for a spate of sexual assault lawsuits after the usual deadline for such complaints was dropped on Thursday.
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