Four days before her son was gunned down and her husband was wounded, New Jersey federal Judge Esther Salas was assigned to handle a class-action lawsuit from Deutsche Bank investors who claim the company failed to monitor “high-risk” customers including late pedophile Jeffrey Epstein.
The investors also claim in New Jersey federal district court that the bank made false and misleading statements about its anti-money laundering policies.
The complaint alleges that Deutsche Bank AG “failed to properly monitor customers that the Bank itself deemed to be high risk, including, among others, the convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.”
Salas was assigned to handle the suit, which plaintiffs led by Ali Karimi filed in US District Court for the District of New Jersey on behalf of investors who bought securities from the bank between Nov. 7, 2017, and July 6, CNN reported.
The company didn’t inform the investors it hadn’t fixed disclosure control problems — and wasn’t keeping tabs on clients like the convicted sex offender and two other banks involved in previous financial misconduct scandals, according to Bloomberg Law.
Adding Epstein – who committed suicide in his Manhattan jail cell last year as he awaited trial on sex-trafficking charges — as a client in 2013 “was a critical mistake and should never have happened,” Deutsche Bank said in a July 7 message to staff, the outlet reported.
A bank rep told Bloomberg News it had spent almost $1 billion to improve anti-money-laundering controls.
The New York state Department of Financial Services fined Deutsche Bank $150 million for “neglecting to flag numerous questionable transactions from accounts associated with Epstein,” Danske Estonia and FBME Bank, the complaint said, Bloomberg Law reported.
In 2017, the bank “signaled to investors” that its since-departed general counsel would “further ensure” its “mitigation of its prior AML and other control function failures,” the complaint said.
Deutsche Bank warned investors of “generic, boilerplate” control risks but didn’t disclose “relationships with, and lax monitoring of, customers” like Epstein that the company had “itself deemed to be high risk,” according to the complaint.
The bank declined to comment on the lawsuit suit but said it had offered help to authorities immediately after Epstein’s arrest.
“We have been fully transparent and have addressed these matters with our regulator, adjusted our risk tolerance and systematically tackled the issues,” a spokesperson told Bloomberg Law.
“Our reputation is our most valuable asset and we deeply regret our association with Epstein,” the rep added.
Authorities have not linked the Sunday evening shooting — in which Salas was not hurt — to the Deutsche Bank case.