Deutsche Bank HQ in Frankfurt

The WSJ reports that Deutsche Bank has reached a settlement of $75 million in a proposed class-action lawsuit accusing the bank of aiding Jeffrey Epstein‘s sex-trafficking operation. The lawsuit, filed last year on behalf of a woman identified as Jane Doe and other accusers, claimed that Deutsche Bank conducted business with Epstein for five years, despite being aware that he was utilizing funds in his bank accounts to support his sex-trafficking activities.

A group of unnamed women accused Deutsche Bank and U.S. bank giant JP Morgan in November 2022 of benefiting financially from Jeffrey Epstein. The complaint alleged the banks facilitated the disgraced financier’s sex-trafficking ring. They said the banks had given Epstein the appearance of legitimacy through their services and, in doing so, had also aided and abetted the abuse of numerous young women. The women had filed two separate lawsuits in federal district court in New York seeking to have them recognized as class actions.

The plaintiff, known as Jane Doe, claimed that she was a victim of sexual abuse by Epstein and subjected to trafficking by him to his associates from approximately 2003 to 2018. Additionally, she stated that she received cash payments for engaging in sexual acts. The lawsuit alleged that Deutsche Bank disregarded warning signs, such as payments to numerous young women.

In 2020, the German lender was fined $150 million by New York state’s financial regulator over its relationship with Epstein. Epstein’s death in prison in August 2019 was ruled a suicide. His confidante Ghislaine Maxwell was sentenced to 20 years in prison last summer.

JP Morgan has yet to settle the Epstein case. Meanwhile, the bank has even filed suit against its former top executive Jes Staley, seeking to hold him liable for any damages that may arise in connection with Epstein. Staley was chief executive of British bank Barclays until 2021 and was forced to resign in the wake of the Epstein investigation. At the end of May, even JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon must testify under oath in the two civil trials.

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