Deutsche Bank Investigated For Role In Alleged Money Laundering Schemes, Potentially Involving Trump & Kushner
Federal authorities are investigating whether Deutsche Bank, a major international bank based in Germany, failed to comply with anti-money-laundering regulations, said seven people familiar with the matter.
The investigation focuses on the bank’s handling of reports prepared by employees about suspicious transactions, including some by Donald Trump‘s son-in-law Jared Kushner. The FBI recently contacted a Deutsche Bank whistleblower, Tammy McFadden, who has previously criticized the bank’s anti-money-laundering regulations. McFadden, who worked at one of the bank’s anti-money-laundering operations in Jacksonville, Florida, told the New York Times last month that she had flagged suspicious transactions to Russian individuals by Kushner Companies in 2016, but that her superiors had decided not to file the reports with the Treasury Department. According to McFadden, several of her colleagues had had similar experiences where their bosses overruled reports of suspicious activity.
Deutsche Bank has been one of the only money-lending entities that have been willing to do business with Trump, who has a history of defaulting on his loans. Over the course of the past two decades, the bank has lent him more than $2 billion, of which $350 is still unpaid. Two House committees have recently subpoenaed the bank in order to gain access to Trump’s financial records. In response, the president has sued the bank to prevent it from divulging his financial information. His request was rejected by a federal judge, but the White House has appealed the case, hoping that a higher court will rule in its favor. There is no indication that Kushner or his companies are being probed as part of the investigations against Trump or the bank.
This is not the first time that the German company has been the subject of federal investigations. In 2015, the Justice Department began looking into the bank to determine whether or not it had a role in laundering money to wealthy Russian individuals. In 2017, American and British authorities heaped hundreds of millions of dollars in civil penalties onto the bank but decided not to press criminal charges. The investigations into the bank continue today, as FBI agents question top-level bank officials on a wide variety of financial crimes. The bank has been hit hard by these investigations, both by monetary penalties and by decreased shareholder confidence. The moneylender’s stock price has plummeted as investors worry about the future, making it unclear what lies ahead for Deutsche Bank.