May 17 (Reuters) – Deutsche Bank AG (DBKGn.DE) has agreed to pay $75 million to settle a lawsuit brought by women who say they were abused by the late financier Jeffrey Epstein and accused the German bank of facilitating his sex trafficking.
The agreement resolves claims in a proposed class action lawsuit in Manhattan federal court by Epstein’s accusers and was upheld by their lawyers on Wednesday evening. Court approval is required.
Epstein had been a client of Deutsche Bank from 2013 to 2018. He died in August 2019 in prison while awaiting trial on charges of sex trafficking, in what the New York City medical examiner ruled a suicide.
The Wall Street Journal reported the settlement earlier and said the bank did not admit wrongdoing, citing people familiar with the matter.
Deutsche Bank spokesman Dylan Riddle declined to discuss the deal, but referred to a 2020 statement in which the bank admitted a mistake in making Epstein a client.
He also said Deutsche Bank had invested more than 4 billion euros to strengthen its controls, processes and training, and had hired more people to fight financial crime.
David Boies, one of the accusers’ lawyers, said in a statement that Epstein’s abuse “could not have happened without the collaboration and support of many powerful people and institutions. We appreciate the willingness of Deutsche Bank to take responsibility for its role”.
Law firms Boies Schiller Flexner and Edwards Pottinger represent Epstein’s accusers. A trial was scheduled for September 5.
It was not immediately clear how the settlement might affect JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N), which faces similar but larger lawsuits from Epstein’s accusers and from the US Virgin Islands, where the financier had a House.
Epstein was a JPMorgan client from 1998 to 2013, a time when he allegedly trafficked many more women and girls. Court documents described numerous details of the bank allegedly ignoring or turning a blind eye to Epstein’s activities.
JPMorgan did not immediately respond to requests for comment outside of business hours.
He is separately suing Jes Staley, a former private bank chief who had been friends with Epstein, to help cover his losses in the two lawsuits he faces.
Staley is also a former chief executive of Barclays Plc (BARC.L). Elon Musk of Tesla Inc
The Deutsche Bank case was led by an unidentified plaintiff, known as Jane Doe 1, who said Epstein sexually assaulted her from 2003 to 2018.
Another Jane Doe 1, a former ballet dancer who said Epstein trafficked her from 2006 to 2013, leads the accusers’ case against JPMorgan.
Last September, Deutsche Bank agreed to pay $26.25 million to settle a US shareholder lawsuit accusing the bank of lax oversight while doing business with risky, ultra-wealthy clients like Epstein.
The case is Jane Doe 1 v Deutsche Bank AG et al, US District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 22-10018.
Reporting by Rahat Sandhu in Bangalore; Editing by Jacqueline Wong
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