Deutsche Bank pays $75 million to settle lawsuit filed by Epstein’s accusers

New York (CNN) Deutsche Bank has agreed to pay $75 million to settle a lawsuit accusing the bank of enabling sex trafficking by deceased financier Jeffrey Epstein when he was a customer.

Settling with women who say they were abused by Epstein, settles claims in a proposed class action in Manhattan federal court. Epstein was a multi-millionaire accused of child sex trafficking and was a client of Deutsche Bank from 2013 to 2018.

Deutsche Bank spokesman Dylan Riedel declined to discuss the agreement, but pointed to a 2020 statement in which the bank acknowledged wrongdoing in making Epstein a customer. The women’s attorneys confirmed the settlement late Wednesday. Court approval is required.

“This groundbreaking settlement is the culmination of two law firms that conducted more than a decade of investigation to hold one of Epstein’s financial banking associates liable for the role it played in facilitating the organization of human trafficking,” said law firms Boies Schiller Flexner and Edwards Pottinger. Joint statement.

The Wall Street Journal first reported the settlement and said the bank had not admitted wrongdoing, citing people familiar with the matter.

The bank took Epstein on as a client even after various sex trafficking charges had already surfaced. Epstein died in August 2019 while in custody awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges, in what the New York City medical examiner called a suicide.

Before becoming a Deutsche Bank client, Epstein had already pleaded guilty to two counts of prostitution statewide in Florida, including one involving a minor. He only served 13 months in jail and was released during the day to run his business. He also reached an agreement with federal prosecutors in 2008 to have charges similar to those he faced shortly before his death.

The JPMorgan case is still pending

There is still a case pending involving another huge bank, JPMorgan Chase, which also considered Epstein as a client. Epstein’s accusers are suing that bank as well as the US Virgin Islands, where the financier had a home.

Epstein was a client of JPMorgan from 1998 to 2013, during which time he allegedly trafficked numerous women and girls. The court papers have laid out many details about what the bank is allegedly ignoring or turning a blind eye to, Epstein’s activities. Tesla CEO Elon Musk is among those called up in the JPMorgan lawsuit.

JPMorgan did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Deutsche Bank’s Riedel said the bank has invested more than 4 billion euros to strengthen its controls, operations and training, and to hire more people to fight financial crime.

David Boyes, one of the defendants’ attorneys, said in a statement that Epstein’s abuse “could not have happened without the cooperation and support of many powerful individuals and institutions. We appreciate Deutsche Bank’s willingness to take responsibility for its role.”

The law firms Boies Schiller Flexner and Edwards Pottinger represent Epstein’s accusers. A trial was scheduled for September 5.

The Deutsche Bank case was led by an unidentified plaintiff, identified as Jane Doe 1, who said Epstein sexually assaulted her from 2003 to 2018.

Jane Doe 1, a former ballet dancer who said Epstein trafficked her from 2006 to 2013, is leading the defendants’ case against JPMorgan.

Last September, Deutsche Bank agreed to pay $26.25 million to settle a lawsuit against US shareholders accusing the bank of lax oversight while doing business with risky, wealthy clients like Epstein.

— Reuters contributed to this report

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