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Deutsche Bank agrees to pay $75 million to Jeffrey Epstein victims

Deutsche Bank agreed to a settlement paying $75 million to victims of Jeffrey Epstein's sex-trafficking scheme. File Photo by Wallace Woon/EPA-EFE
1 of 2 | Deutsche Bank agreed to a settlement paying $75 million to victims of Jeffrey Epstein's sex-trafficking scheme. File Photo by Wallace Woon/EPA-EFE

May 18 (UPI) -- Deutsche Bank on Wednesday agreed to pay $75 million to alleged victims of late financier Jeffrey Epstein to settle a federal lawsuit alleging the bank enabled and benefitted from the billionaire's trafficking of underage girls.

The bank will pay from $75,000 to up to $5 million depending on the claim to victims who were abused by Epstein while he was with the bank from 2013 through 2018 in the settlement reported by the Wall Street Journal, CNBC and The Guardian.

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"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," said Edwards Pottinger and Boies Schiller Flexner.

The suit, filed by a woman using the pseudonym Jane Doe, alleged that Deutsche Bank "provided requisite financial support" for Epstein's sex trafficking operation despite knowing he would "use means of force, threats of force, fraud, abuse of legal process, exploitation of power disparity" and other forms of coercion to lead young women to "engage in commercial sex acts."

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"Knowing they would earn millions of dollars from facilitating Epstein's sex trafficking, and from its relationship with Epstein, Deutsche Bank chose profit over following the law," the lawsuit stated. "Specifically, Deutsche Bank chose facilitating a sex trafficking operation in order to churn profits."

Deutsche Bank spokesman Dylan Riddle did not comment on the settlement but told CNBC the company has spent more than $4 billion to strengthen its internal financial controls following the Epstein lawsuit.

"In recent years, Deutsche Bank has made considerable progress in remedying a number of past issues," Riddle said.

The bank had previously been ordered by New York regulators to pay a $150 million fine as a result of "significant compliance failures," tied to suspicious transactions involving Epstein and foreign banks Danske Estonia and FBME Bank.

"We acknowledge our error of onboarding Epstein in 2013 and the weaknesses in our processes and have learned from our mistakes and shortcomings," the bank said at the time.

In March, a judge ruled that Deutsche Bank and JPMorgan Chase could both be sued for profiting from Epstein's sex trafficking.

Earlier this week, the U.S. Virgin Islands subpoenaed billionaire Elon Musk asking for documents related to JPMorgan Chase in its case against the bank giant and Epstein. The Virgin Islands is currently suing JPMorgan for allegedly enabling and benefiting from Epstein's trafficking of young women to his private island in the territory to be abused by him and others.

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Island prosecutors said while Musk is not suspected of any wrongdoing with Epstein, they believe he may have been a high-net-worth individual whom Epstein may have "referred or attempted to refer" to the bank as a client.

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