Deutsche Bank executives didn’t tell the federal government about suspicious transactions linked to organizations of President Donald Trump and his son-in-law Jared Kushner even though these were flagged by specialists trained to fight money laundering, according to a New York Times article. To be clear, it’s the bank that’s under the most scrutiny in this article. Current and former employees were reported as saying that certain bank leaders went soft on powerful clients. The transactions weren’t necessarily illegal or improper, but it is alleged that the organization had a pattern of turning a blind eye toward possible wrongdoing by the wealthy.
Take the story of Tammy McFadden. She worked at Deutsche’s Jacksonville office as an anti-money laundering specialist. She said she found that money moved from Kushner Companies to certain Russian people. She determined that the government should know about this, especially after federal watchdogs had told Deutsche Bank to tighten up in reviewing possibly illegal transactions because it had laundered billions for Russians.
According to her, she wrote a report. She and two former Detusche bank managers said that this should’ve been reviewed by anti-money laundering experts who were split from the business side. Instead, managers in New York handled it, determined the allegations were unsubstantiated, and declined to tell the government about it. She and some coworkers suggested that the report were squashed to preserve the bank’s relationship with Kushner.
McFadden was fired in April 2018, ostensibly because she wasn’t reviewing enough transactions. She said, however, that her bosses cut down her work load after she complained about how the bank wasn’t properly vetting powerful clients, including politically connected people like the Trump family. Two former managers joined her in saying they saw this firing as retaliation.
Deutsche Bank spokeswoman Kerrie McHugh denied wrongdoing.
“At no time was an investigator prevented from escalating activity identified as potentially suspicious,” she said. “Furthermore, the suggestion that anyone was reassigned or fired in an effort to quash concerns relating to any client is categorically false.”
The Trump family relationship with the bank has been a sore spot for a while. The president owed them over $300 million when he took office, and his attorneys have tried to stop the bank from complying with subpoenas from Congress. Trump organization spokeswoman Amanda Miller said they didn’t know about any flagged transactions with Deutsche Bank, but she reportedly didn’t answer when the Times asked if other Trump groups had accounts. Kushner Companies spokeswoman Karen Zabarsky also denied any claim that the group was involved in money laundering. [Image via Spencer Platt/Getty Images]