Deutsche Bank executives looked the other way when their own employees noted suspicious transactions by companies controlled by Trump or Jared Kushner.
Deutsche Bank computers flagged several Trump and Jared Kushner bank accounts on suspicion of money laundering but ultimately did nothing. It's just another example of the shady relationship between Trump and his biggest lender.
The New York Times interviewed several current and former employees of Deutsche Bank who specialize in tracking money laundering and other illegal activity. What they learned was explosive: On several occasions in 2016 and 2017 — even after Trump took office — accounts involving Trump and Kushner triggered the bank's anti-money laundering software.
After computers flag transactions, they're reviewed by anti-money laundering personnel. IN this instance, those people were worried, so much so that they prepared suspicious activity reports to be sent to the Treasury.
But those reports never got there. Instead, executives at Deutsche Bank quashed the reports, opting instead to protect Trump and Kushner. It looks a lot like the bank even decided to fire one of its top anti-money laundering employees, Tammy McFadden, rather than tip the government off to Trump and Kushner's shady transactions.
And why wouldn't the bank protect Trump? Trump's 2018 financial disclosure shows he owes Deutsche Bank over $150 million. They've loaned Trump over $2 billion in the last two decades, often when no one else would. Trump and the bank are bound together by a complex web of companies and loans.
Indeed, it isn't even clear which of Trump or Kushner's numerous companies were involved in the disreputable transactions, as both of them have so many different entities. What is known is that at least some of the transactions involved Trump's scammy Trump Foundation, which Trump had to hastily shut down thanks to a New York state investigation.
That's precisely what Trump and Deutsche Bank are already under investigation for by the House Intelligence Committee, where Chair Adam Schiff is looking into "allegations of potential foreign influence on the U.S. political process."
This is also likely why Trump is so eager to quash the Intelligence Committee's subpoena to Deutsche Bank requesting several years of Trump's financial records. We already know that Trump has inflated his net worth, and Deutsche Bank knew he was lying about it.
Deutsche Bank isn't just lax with Trump. German police raided the bank last year, alleging that the bank helped 900 customers set up offshore accounts to hide criminal activity. And the employees that spoke with the Times said that letting Trump off the hook wasn't an anomaly — it was "part of a pattern of the bank's executives rejecting valid reports" so they could protect their relationships with "lucrative clients."
Deutsche Bank and Trump are ideally suited for one another, but the walls are closing in on both of them.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.