News & Current Affairs

Epstein Lawsuit Against Deutsche Bank Is To Be Settled For $75 Million

By Azeezat Okunlola | May 24, 2023
Lawyers for women who believe they were mistreated by the late financier Jeffrey Epstein have settled a lawsuit against Deutsche Bank for $75 million. 
The action alleges that Deutsche Bank knew or should have known about Jeffrey Epstein's alleged involvement in sex trafficking when he was a client of the German bank.
In a federal district court case in New York, a woman solely known as "Jane Doe" sued the bank, aiming to represent other people who had been harmed by Epstein in a class action. The lawsuit claims that the bank "chose profit over following the law" to make millions of dollars off of Epstein's sex trafficking.
Edwards Pottinger, one of the law firms representing the women, said that this deal was the largest sex trafficking settlement with a bank in the United States.
The company said in a statement that the settlement "will allow dozens of survivors of Jeffrey Epstein to finally attempt to restore their faith in our system knowing that all individuals and entities who facilitated Epstein's sex-trafficking operation will finally be held accountable."
The worldwide head of media relations for the German lender, Frank Hartmann, declined to comment on the settlement on Thursday but did point to a statement from the bank admitting its errors in taking on Epstein as a client in 2020.
To combat financial crime, "the Bank has invested more than 4 billion euros" (about $4.3bn), as stated in a written statement by Hartmann.
The law firm Boies Schiller Flexner, which also represents plaintiffs, hailed the settlement as a significant achievement for the protection of victims' rights.
"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," stated the firm's chairman, David Boies.
Deutsche Bank had already partnered with JPMorgan Chase, another bank being sued for its ties to Epstein, to combat the charges. While facing federal criminal accusations for sexually abusing scores of minor girls, Epstein committed suicide in prison.
Late this year, the German bank stated that it had provided "routine banking services" to Epstein between 2013 and 2018 and that the complaint "does not come close to adequately alleging that Deutsche Bank... was part of Epstein's criminal sex trafficking ring."
High-profile individuals are joining the claims, which also seek to sue the government of the US Virgin Islands, where Epstein's estate is located.
Last month, a judge in the United States ruled that Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase, must face up to two days of questioning by attorneys representing the plaintiffs in the litigation.
As part of its litigation against JPMorgan, the Virgin Islands government is attempting to subpoena billionaire Elon Musk on allegations that the bank enabled Epstein's recruiters to pay victims and helped conceal his decades of sex abuse.
JPMorgan has sued former CEO Jes Staley over claims that he covered up Epstein's abuse and trafficking to keep the billionaire as a customer, claims that Staley denies. When the complaint was initially filed in March, Staley's attorney declined to comment.