New York State’s Department of Financial Services announced the multimillion-dollar penalty after a monthslong investigation into its dealings with the convicted sex offender. The investigation was first revealed in a New York Times report in June.
Agency officials said in Tuesday's press release that the bank did not adequately monitor Epstein's bank account activity "despite ample information that was publicly available concerning the circumstances surrounding Mr. Epstein’s earlier criminal misconduct."
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As a result, they missed hundreds of transactions that amounted in millions of dollars that, according to DFS, should have raised alarm bells for further review.
As stated in the press release, examples of such questionable transactions include:
- Payments to people who have been publicly identified as Epstein's co-conspirators
- More than $7 million in settlements and "dozens" of payments to law firms, collectively more than $6 million, which appear to have been for Epstein and his alleged co-conspirators
- More than $800,000 in "suspicious cash withdrawals" over a roughly four-year period
- And "payments to Russian models, payments for women’s school tuition, hotel and rent expenses, and (consistent with public allegations of prior wrongdoing) payments directly to numerous women with Eastern European surnames"
The bank, which previously said it regretted its association with Epstein, said Tuesday it had put nearly $1 billion into "training, controls and operational processes," and bolstered its anti-financial crime team, which now staffs more than 1,500 people.
“We acknowledge our error of onboarding Epstein in 2013 and the weaknesses in our processes, and have learnt from our mistakes and shortcomings," a Deutsche Bank spokesperson said in a statement to Fox News. "Immediately following Epstein’s arrest, we contacted law enforcement and offered our full assistance with their investigation. We have been fully transparent and have addressed these matters with our regulator, adjusted our risk tolerance and systematically tackled the issues."
And in an internal memo to staff, Deutsche Bank CEO Christian Sewing called the decision to take Epstein as a client in 2013 "a critical mistake" that "should never have happened."
In a statement released shortly after Tuesday’s announcement, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said predatory behavior, such as Epstein's, will not be tolerated, "No matter how rich, how big or how powerful an institution you are."
"For years, Mr. Epstein's criminal, abusive behavior was widely known, yet big institutions continued to excuse that history and lend their credibility or services for financial gain,” Cuomo said in the statement. “While Washington has routinely looked the other way when it comes to punishing financial institutions, New York and the Department of Financial Services will continue to take its role as a strong regulator seriously and will use every possible tool to protect New Yorkers from predatory behavior in all its forms."