Friday, October 30, 2020

Deutsche Bank reportedly flagged Jeffrey Epstein’s overseas transactions to US watchdog

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Deutsche Bank notified U.S. financial watchdogs about suspicious transactions by accused child sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein — a customer of the bank — according to a new report Tuesday.

The transactions, which involved Epstein moving money out of the United States, were flagged after Deutsche Bank discovered them while looking for indications that the wealthy financier was using his money for sex trafficking, The New York Times reported.

Epstein had been a client of Deutsche Bank’s private banking division since at least 2013, five years after he pleaded guilty to prostitution-related charges involving a teenage girl filed by Florida state prosecutors, the Times noted.

That guilty plea led to Epstein — a former friend of Presidents Donald Trump and Bill Clinton — being required to register as a sex offender.

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According to the new article, an anti-money laundering compliance officer in Deutsche Bank’s office in New York and Florida raised concerns about the bank’s relationship with Epstein in 2015 and 2016.

Read MoreDeutsche Bank Pays $197 Million to Settle Dutch Bribery Case

Those officers also reportedly put together a suspicious activity report on potentially illegal activity in an Epstein account at the time, which had moved money outside of the U.S.

The Times said it was not clear if that report was ever filed with the financial crimes division of the U.S. Treasury Department. But the latest suspicious transactions were reported this year, according to the article.

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“Deutsche Bank is closely examining any business relationship with Jeffrey Epstein, and we are absolutely committed to cooperating with all relevant authorities,” bank spokesman Troy Gravitt told CNBC in an email.

The Times reported that Deutsche Bank has been contacted by federal prosecutor and federal agencies probing Epstein.

The newspaper also reported that the bank now believes that all of Epstein’s accounts have been closed at the bank, months after Deutsche Bank moved to end its relationship with him on the heels of a Miami Herald report on a federal non-prosecution deal granted Epstein in 2007.

Lawyers for Epstein and a Treasury Department spokesman did not immediately respond to CNBC’s requests for comment on the Times’s story.

Read MoreDeutsche Bank Didn’t Report Trump, Kushner Entities for Suspicious Activity – Report

Epstein, 66, was indicted earlier this month by a federal grand jury in New York City on charges of child sex trafficking, and conspiracy to commit child sex trafficking.

Prosecutors say he sexually abused dozens of underage girls at his homes in Manhattan and Florida from 2002 through 2005. Some of the alleged victims were as young as 14.

He has pleaded not guilty in the case, which is pending in U.S. District Court in Manhattan.

On Monday, defense lawyers filed a notice informing Judge Richard Berman that they will appeal his decision to deny granting Epstein bail.

Berman last week said he doubted that any bail agreement “could overcome” Epstein’s potential danger to the public. The judge noted Epstein’s apparently “uncontrollable” fixation on young girls, and the risk that Epstein could use his vast wealth to flee if released.

Epstein, who is worth an estimated $500 million or more, had offered to post bail of upwards of $100 million.

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