Last week Deutsche Bank agreed to pay $75 million to settle a civil complaint filed last year by alleged victims of disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein’s sex-trafficking ring.
The Wall Street Journal broke the news that one of the largest financial institutions in the world settled the lawsuit on May 17.
“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,” read a statement from Boies Schiller Flexner and Edwards Pottinger, who represented the plaintiffs, according to the WSJ.
The settlement funds are expected to go to dozens of Epstein’s accusers, who will receive between $75,000 and $5 million after an assessment of their individual claims, according to CNBC.
An anonymous woman appeared as the lead plaintiff in the lawsuit, which claimed that Deutsche Bank ignored the warning signs emerging from Epstein’s use of over 40 accounts to further his alleged sex-trafficking activity by grooming and recruiting victims between 2013 and 2018.
“Deutsche Bank also knew that Epstein would use means of force, threats of force, fraud, abuse of legal process, exploitation of power disparity, and a variety of other forms of coercion to cause young women and girls to engage in commercial sex acts,” the lawsuit filed in November 2022 stated, according to CNBC.
As The Dallas Express reported, Epstein and his then-girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell faced federal charges relating to the sexual exploitation and trafficking of underage girls. While Maxwell was sentenced to 20 years in prison after being found guilty in June 2022, Epstein died in prison as the result of an apparent suicide before he could be tried in August 2019.
Epstein’s accusers and the government of the U.S. Virgin Islands have filed separate lawsuits against JPMorgan Chase on complaints similar to those levied against Deutsche Bank.
“The scope and scale of Epstein’s abuse, and the many years it continued in plain sight, could not have happened without the collaboration and support of many powerful individuals and institutions,” David Boies of Boies Schiller Flexner said, without naming JPMorgan Chase directly, according to CNBC.
Epstein was a customer of JPMorgan Chase from 1998 to 2013 and then moved to Deutsche Bank.
A spokeswoman for JPMorgan Chase explained that while the financial institution now realizes “any association with Epstein was a mistake,” it did not violate any laws, according to the WSJ.
JPMorgan Chase’s CEO Jamie Dimon will nonetheless be deposed in the U.S. Virgin Islands’ case on May 26, according to CNBC.
Several subpoenas have been issued by the federal court in Manhattan on behalf of the U.S. territory. These have targeted several businessmen, including Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, former Disney president Michael Ovitz, and most recently Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk.
In the case of Deutsche Bank, the institution’s alleged oversight failures already led to it paying the New York financial regulator a $150 million fine in 2020.
While Deutsche Bank’s spokesman Dylan Riddle did not comment on the recent settlement, he told the press that the institution had been making “considerable progress in remedying a number of past issues,” according to the WSJ.