The lawsuit claims that Deutsche Bank was aware that Epstein had previously been accused of trafficking underage girls but overlooked financial red flags, including regular transfers to young women and frequent cash withdrawals.
Two anonymous women who accused Jeffrey Epstein of sexual abuse have filed separate lawsuits alleging that J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. and Deutsche Bank A.G. enabled and benefitted from the late billionaire’s human trafficking operation.
According to CNN, the presumptive class action lawsuits were filed under a recently-enacted New York state law that allows the adult survivors of sexual assault to bring civil claims against abusers and enablers.
Known as the Adult Survivors Act, the legislation provides the former victims of child sex abuse a one-year window to litigate, even if the statute of limitations had otherwise lapsed.
Epstein, notes CNN, was awaiting trial for federal sex trafficking offenses when he reportedly committed suicide in a holding cell.
The recently-filed lawsuit alleges that financial institutions, including J.P. Morgan, only began “separating” themselves from Epstein in 2013.
“Without the financial institution’s participation, Epstein’s sex trafficking scheme could not have existed,” the lawsuit states.
Deutsche Bank, the complaint claims, “became the bank that Epstein needed to fund his sexual abuse and sex-trafficking operation.”
“Knowing that they would earn millions of dollars from facilitating Epstein’s sex trafficking, and from its relationship with Epstein, Deutsche Bank chose profit over following the law. Specifically, Deutsche Bank chose facilitating a sex trafficking operation in order to churn profits,” the lawsuit claims.
The plaintiffs allege that Deutsche Bank failed to investigate “red flags,” such as large payments to numerous young women as well as frequent cash withdrawals.
CNN notes that New York regulators fined Deutsche Bank approximately $150 million in 2020, criticizing the company for “mistakes and sloppiness” in its handling of Epstein’s accounts.
Attorneys for the women say that Deutsche Bank and its counterparts were aware of past accusations against Epstein when he became their client.
Deutsche Bank issued a statement in 2013 saying that it acknowledged “its of onboarding Epstein in 2013 and the weakness of our processes, and have learn from our mistakes and shortcomings.”
Nevertheless, the lawsuit maintains that, “Without Deutsche Bank’s assistance, Epstein could not have abused or trafficked the dozens of young women he did between 2013 and 2018.”
Brian Blackstone, the Head of Communications for the bank’s American Region, told CNN that the company believes the women’s allegations are unfounded.
“We believe this claim lacks merit and we will present our arguments in court,” Blackstone said.
The plaintiffs are seeking unspecified damages and have requested that their case be given a jury trial.