Kushner Transactions Included In Deutsche Bank Money Laundering Probe
Whenever Deutsche Bank is in the news, it usually spells trouble for either Jared Kushner or Donald Trump. Today continued that trend. The New York Times reported:
Federal authorities are investigating whether Deutsche Bank complied with laws meant to stop money laundering and other crimes, the latest government examination of potential misconduct at one of the world’s largest and most troubled banks, according to seven people familiar with the inquiry.
The investigation includes a review of Deutsche Bank’s handling of so-called suspicious activity reports that its employees prepared about possibly problematic transactions, including some linked to President Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, according to people close to the bank and others familiar with the matter.
This reporting comes after earlier reporting from The Times which told the story of how whistleblower Tammy McFadden flagged suspicious transactions involving Kushner’s company in 2016. McFadden is an anti-money laundering expert, and at the time told Deutsche Bank about the transactions and that she found “money had moved from Kushner Companies to Russian individuals.” In 2017, her colleagues flagged suspicious transactions involving President Trump’s companies, but it’s unclear if Trump’s transactions are part of this new probe. The F.B.I. has contacted McFadden as part of their investigation.
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As we know, Deutsche Bank is the German bank that was the only major financial institution willing to do business with businessman Donald Trump when he was deemed too risky an investment for US banks. According to reports, the Trump Organization currently owes Deutsche Bank $364 million (his companies have received over $2.5 billion in loans over two decades) and his son-in-law, and White House Adviser, Jared Kushner’s company owes the bank $285 million. In November 2018, Deutsche Bank was raided in a money laundering investigation and has a documented history of money laundering for Russians.
New York Attorney General Letitia James has subpoenaed records from Deutsche Bank related to loans President Trump’s company has received from the bank, according to multiple reports. This came after Michael Cohen claimed Trump inflated his assets in an effort to try and obtain a loan from Deutsche Bank for the purchase of the Buffalo Bills – a loan he didn’t receive. The New York Times reported in March that President Trump inflated his wealth to Deutsche Bank, citing bank officials.
When House Democrats subpoenaed records from Deutsche Bank pertaining to Trump’s family, President Trump responded by suing Deutsche Bank to prevent them from complying with the subpoena. President Trump’s lawsuit failed in court. A federal judge in New York ruled that Deutsche Bank and Capital One can hand over Trump’s financial records to Congress.
Several questions come to mind. Why were Kushner’s companies paying Russians during the height of Russia’s attack on US democracy that the Trump Campaign benefitted from? Were these transactions money laundering related? Why did Deutsche Bank executives refuse to report these transactions to the government? Will President Trump lash out at FBI Director Christopher Wray or try and obstruct this investigation? It’s not clear exactly what these transactions were, but given Deutsche Bank’s history and Donald Trump’s alleged history of money laundering for Russian oligarchs, this is an important story to watch.
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