WASHINGTON — Deutsche Bank has agreed to pay $75m (£60m) to settle a lawsuit that claimed the lender had enabled Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged sex trafficking ring.
The case was filed by an unnamed woman who alleged that the banking giant continued to do business with Epstein, despite knowing that his accounts were used to facilitate the abuses.
She also claimed that she was abused by Epstein and trafficked to his friends.
Deutsche Bank declined to comment on the matter when approached by the BBC.
The woman, who is listed anonymously as “Jane Doe” in court papers, filed the class-action lawsuit in New York last November on behalf of herself and other women who had allegedly been abused by the late American financier.
She said Deutsche Bank “chose profit over following the law” as it knew it would “earn millions of dollars from facilitating Epstein’s sex trafficking”.
The woman also alleged that she was sexually abused by Epstein and trafficked to his friends for around 15 years, while receiving cash payments for her sexual acts.
The settlement is expected to be used to pay compensation to dozens of women.
Edwards Pottinger, one of the law firms representing the unnamed woman, told the BBC that the outcome was “likely the largest sex-trafficking settlement involving a banking institution in US history.”
“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 firm added.
Deutsche Bank previously sought to have the lawsuit dismissed.
Dylan Riddle, a spokesman for the bank, declined to comment on the settlement on Thursday, but said it had “made considerable progress in remedying a number of past issues”.
Mr Riddle added that the bank had invested more than €4bn ($4.3bn; £3.5bn) to improve its controls, training and operational processes, and grown its team dedicated to fighting financial crime.
Epstein died in a New York prison cell on 10 August 2019 as he awaited, without the chance of bail, his trial on sex trafficking charges.
It came more than a decade after his conviction for soliciting prostitution from a minor, for which he was registered as a sex offender. BBC