Deutsche Bank fined $150m for ignoring suspicious Epstein payments

Deutsche Bank allowed billionaire paedophile Jeffrey Epstein to make a string of suspicious payments to women without proper checks, a damning investigation has found.

The German lender failed to step in when Mr Epstein was wiring money to co-conspirators, Russian models and women “with Eastern European surnames”, the New York Department of Financial Services (DFS) said. He also paid for women’s school tuition, hotels and rent.

Rather than carrying out detailed scrutiny, the DFS said that compliance workers used internet searches to check that the women paid by Epstein were over 18.

Deutsche has now agreed to pay a $150m (£120m) penalty over its dealings with Mr Epstein, who killed himself in a New York jail cell last year while waiting trial for sex crimes.

The DFS also said that Epstein’s lawyer withdrew $800,000 in cash on his behalf in just four years, taking out about $7,500 two or three times a month including $100,000 for “tipping and household expenses” that were never properly explained.

Investigators accused Deutsche of a string of serious failings, including “mistakes and sloppiness” in the way it handled the late financier’s accounts.

 The regulator said: “Throughout the relationship, very few problematic transactions were ever questioned, and even when they were, they were usually cleared without satisfactory explanation”. 

Deutsche’s penalty – which comes days after Mr Epstein’s close friend Ghislaine Maxwell was arrested – is a further blow to the bank’s reputation following repeated fines for previous wrongdoing and a long-running furore over its relationship with US President Donald Trump.

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