Deutsche Bank to settle $75mln lawsuit by Epstein victims
Epstein's sex trafficking victims filed a class action lawsuit in 2022 against the German bank.
Deutsche Bank agreed to pay $75 million to settle a class-action lawsuit by women accusing the German financial institution of facilitating sex trafficking carried out by American financier Jeffrey Epstein.
In 2019, Epstein was arrested on federal sex trafficking charges. This came after the federal prosecutors in New York found that they were not bound by the terms of the non-prosecution deal signed in 2008, where the US financier pleaded guilty to state charges on one count of soliciting prostitution from someone under the age of 18 and another count of soliciting prostitution.
Read more: CIA chief, Rothschild, Ehud Barak, WH Counsel on Epstein schedule: WSJ
The collective lawsuit against Epstein was filed in 2022 by a group of women and other victims, under the pseudonym Jane Doe, accusing Deutsche Bank of establishing business relations with the financier between 2013 and 2018.
Jane Doe first filed the lawsuit against the bank in November 2022. Doe claimed that the bank “chose profit over following the law” and was aware that it would “earn millions of dollars from facilitating Epstein’s sex trafficking."
Read more: US Virgin Islands subpoenas Musk over Epstein sex trafficking lawsuit
According to the report, dozens of victims may get up to $5 million each in damage compensation.
Lawyers on the case said the settlement is “likely the largest sex-trafficking settlement involving a banking institution in US history."
Deutsche Bank did not admit to any wrongdoing.
Epstein was found dead after his arrest in 2019 in his jail cell with fatal neck injuries. It was ruled that his death was a suicide.
Earlier this week, The Wall Street Journal revealed in a report that Epstein's affiliates included world famous names, that have remained secret until the newspaper was able to put its hand on new documents exposing their ties with the financier.
Among the names was director of the Central Intelligence Agency William Burns, who assumed his position in 2021.
According to the documents, in 2014, Burns, who served as Deputy Secretary of State under former President Barack Obama, had three meetings scheduled with Epstein. Burns met Epstein in Washington and visited him, for the first time, in the latter's townhouse in Manhattan, the report added.
In Washington, on August 2014, a "lunch was planned" at the office of law firm Steptoe & Johnson. Later, according to the new documents, Epstein had scheduled two evening appointments in September at his townhouse. The documents also revealed that Epstein "planned for his driver to take Mr. Burns to the airport" after one of the appointments.
Alternatively, CIA spokesperson Tammy Kupperman Thorp argued, “The director did not know anything about him [Epstein], other than that he was introduced as an expert in the financial services sector and offered general advice on the transition to the private sector,” adding “They had no relationship.”
Soon after the scheduled meetings, Burns stepped down from his position at the State Department and was offered the presidency position at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. In 2021, US President Joe Biden called on Burns to serve as a CIA Director.
The White House counsel under President Barack Obama, Kathryn Ruemmler, conducted dozens of meetings with Epstein according to the WSJ report.
It was even noted that the two appeared to know each other pretty well, to the extent that Epstein had scheduled visits to apartments she looked into buying and asked his assistant to upgrade Ruemmler to First Class on certain flights he knew she would be having.
Ruemmler, who in 2020 became a top lawyer at Goldman Sachs Group Inc., was also invited to join Epstein on a trip to Paris in 2015 and a trip to his private Caribbean Island in 2017.
Ruemmler, at the time, was a partner specializing in white-collar defense at Latham & Watkins. It has been alleged that Ruemmler had more than three dozen appointments with Epstein in her capacity as a partner at the law firm.
Despite that, a Goldman Sachs spokesperson said Ruemmler never visited his island and “never accepted an invitation or an opportunity to fly with Jeffrey Epstein anywhere."
“It was the same kinds of contacts and engagements she had with other contacts and clients.”
Read more: Chelsea Manning: Epstein was murdered
Edmond de Rothschild Group CEO
As part of Epstein's public relations approach, the sex offender had also connected Ruemmler with Ariane de Rothschild, who currently serves as CEO of the Edmond de Rothschild Group.
Back then Rothschild's bank had hired Ruemmler's firm following the introduction by Epstein.
According to the emails, WSJ revealed, Epstein had sought Rothschild's help with certain staffing and furniture endeavors. Moreover, the two discussed a number of business deals.
According to the emails, in 2013 Epstein asked Rothschild for help in "finding a new assistant." The email specified "female…multilingual, organized,” to which Rothschild responded, “I’ll ask around.”
The documents also revealed that Epstein discussed with his staff, previously, if Ruemmler would be uncomfortable seeing young women working around the townhouse as his assistants and staffers.
Similarly, Helen Fisher, an anthropologist who studies romantic love and attachment who had visited Epstein once, allegedly, in 2016, said that Epstein invited her to speak with his staff. “Six young women,” Fisher said, “All of them good-looking. All of them young.”
As for the bank CEO, Rothschild had allegedly bought "nearly $1 million worth of auction items on Epstein’s behalf in 2014 and 2015," WSJ wrote.
In October of 2015, just after Rothschild was named chairwoman of the bank, the two negotiated a $25 million contract for Epstein’s Southern Trust Co. to provide “risk analysis and the application and use of certain algorithms” for the bank the newspaper revealed.
After Epstein was charged, the first response from the bank's spokesperson was that Rothschild never met with Epstein and that she had no business links with the sex offender.
Soon after, the bank acknowledged to the Journal that its earlier statement was false and that the two had indeed met but only in the context of normal bank duties, adding that Epstein offered the bank great introductions to US finance leaders; he also "recommended law firms and provided ax and risk consulting."
Read more: Convict Ghislaine Maxwell appeals over 'inhumane conditions'
Former Israeli PM and Henry Kissinger affiliate
Among other regular guests, Epstein met with Joshua Cooper Ramo, then co-chief executive of Henry Kissinger’s corporate consulting firm.
Epstein even introduced Ramo to Rothschild during one of their gatherings, according to report.
Ramo visited Epstein often, the documents show, and often the visits were confined to the latter's townhouse after 5:00 pm. Epstein knew Ramo well enough to request special snacks, believing Ramo, who at the time served on the boards of Starbucks Corp. and FedEx Corp, was a vegetarian.
The documents also revealed that Ramo also once met another of Epstein's regular guests, former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak.
Barak confirmed that he "often met with Epstein on trips to New York" and explained that Epstein "often brought other interesting persons, from art or culture, law or science, finance, diplomacy or philanthropy.”
Unlike Ruemmler, Rothschild, and Burns, Barak never said that he regrets having met Epstein.