Deutsche Bank to pay $75m settlement

Deutsche Bank has reached a settlement agreement to pay $75m (£60m) in a lawsuit accusing the bank of enabling Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged sex trafficking ring. The lawsuit, filed by an unnamed woman referred to as “Jane Doe,” claimed that Deutsche Bank continued to conduct business with Epstein despite being aware that his accounts were being used for facilitating the abuses. The woman alleged that she was both abused by Epstein and trafficked to his associates.

When approached by the BBC, Deutsche Bank chose not to comment on the case. According to the lawsuit, the bank prioritized profit over adhering to the law, knowing that it would earn substantial amounts of money by facilitating Epstein’s sex trafficking activities. The woman further claimed that she endured sexual abuse by Epstein and was trafficked to his associates for approximately 15 years, receiving cash payments for her participation.

The settlement is expected to provide compensation to numerous women involved in the case. Edwards Pottinger, one of the law firms representing “Jane Doe,” stated that this settlement is likely the largest sex-trafficking settlement involving a banking institution in US history. The firm added that the outcome would allow the survivors of Epstein’s actions to seek justice and hold accountable all individuals and entities involved in facilitating his sex-trafficking operation.

Deutsche Bank had previously attempted to have the lawsuit dismissed. While the bank declined to comment on the settlement, a spokesperson mentioned that significant progress had been made in rectifying past issues. They emphasized the bank’s investment of over €4bn ($4.3bn; £3.5bn) to enhance controls, training, operational processes, and the expansion of the team dedicated to combating financial crime. Jeffrey Epstein died in a New York prison in August 2019 while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges, more than a decade after his conviction as a sex offender for soliciting prostitution from a minor.

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