Deutsche Bank has agreed to pay $150 million to settle claims that it broke compliance rules in its dealings with the late sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, New York state announced Tuesday. The penalty was announced in a release by Superintendent of Financial Services Linda A. Lacewell. “Despite knowing Mr. Epstein’s terrible criminal history, the Bank inexcusably failed to detect or prevent millions of dollars of suspicious transactions,” Lacewell said. According to the release, the agreement marks the first enforcement action by a regulator against a financial institution for dealings with the financier, the AP reports. Epstein, who killed himself last August while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges, pleaded guilty to criminal sex abuse charges in Florida over a decade ago and was a registered sex offender before his July 2019 arrest.
Lacewell said the bank failed to properly monitor Epstein's account activity despite publicly available information about Epstein's crimes. Lacewell said the bank processed hundreds of transactions totaling millions of dollars that, “at the very least, should have prompted additional scrutiny in light of Mr. Epstein’s history." She said some payments that should have drawn scrutiny included money paid to people publicly alleged to have been Mr. Epstein’s co-conspirators in sexually abusing young women. In a statement, the German bank said the settlement with New York state “reflects our unreserved and transparent cooperation with our regulator." (Epstein's ex-girlfriend, Ghislaine Maxwell, was arrested last week and brought to New York City to face charges she recruited girls for Epstein to abuse.)