Deutsche Bank has agreed to pay $75 million to sexual abuse victims of Jeffrey Epstein to settle a lawsuit filed last year in Manhattan, according to the lawyers for the victims.
The settlement, which requires approval by a federal judge, would resolve a proposed class-action suit that alleged the bank had helped enable the disgraced financier’s sex trafficking of young women by missing warning signs in Mr. Epstein’s accounts that he was engaged in wrongdoing.
Dylan Riddle, a spokesman for the German bank, declined to comment on any proposed settlement. But in a statement, Mr. Riddle said the bank “has made considerable progress in remedying a number of past issues,” while investing in bolstering its internal controls.
David Boies and Brad Edwards, the lawyers for the women who brought the case, said $75 million would be made available to the more than 125 victims of Mr. Epstein who previously obtained payouts from a restitution fund established by his estate after his death in 2019.
Mr. Boies and Mr. Edwards, who work at separate firms, said in a joint statement: “This groundbreaking settlement is the culmination of two law firms conducting more than a decade-long investigation to hold one of Epstein’s financial banking partners responsible for the role it played in facilitating his trafficking organization.”
News of the settlement was reported earlier by The Wall Street Journal.
Mr. Epstein’s estate established the restitution fund several months after he died by suicide while in federal custody awaiting trial on sex-trafficking charges.
The fund has paid out more than $125 million to his victims — many of whom were teenage girls when Mr. Epstein abused them. In addition, the estate has paid about $20 million in settlements to other victims who did not seek awards from the restitution fund.
The tentative settlement closes another chapter in Deutsche Bank’s relationship with Mr. Epstein, which began in 2013 and continued until late 2018. In 2020, Deutsche Bank, which is based in Frankfurt, agreed to pay $150 million to New York regulators to settle claims that the bank repeatedly overlooked suspicious transactions involving Mr. Epstein and ignored obvious red flags about his activities.
Deutsche Bank took Mr. Epstein on as a client after JPMorgan Chase, which had been his primary bank for roughly 15 years, stopped doing business with him. The lawyers for the victims have sued JPMorgan, claiming it, too, ignored warning signs about Mr. Epstein and benefited financially from his sex-trafficking operation.
Patricia Wexler, a spokeswoman for JPMorgan, declined to comment on Deutsche Bank’s tentative settlement, but said in a statement, “In hindsight, any association with Epstein was a mistake and we regret it, but we do not believe we violated any laws.”
The government of the U.S. Virgin Islands, the territory where Mr. Epstein operated his businesses for nearly two decades, has sued JPMorgan. Last year Mr. Epstein’s estate agreed to pay $105 million to the Virgin Islands to settle a lawsuit brought by the government to recover tax benefits it had awarded to one of his businesses in St. Thomas.
In 2008, Mr. Epstein pleaded guilty in Florida to a charge of soliciting prostitution from a teenage girl and was ordered to register as a sex offender. But the guilty plea did not stop the rich and famous — including a number of wealthy men — from continuing to socialize with him at his Manhattan townhouse and other residences.