2019-05-19 — nytimes.com
Anti-money laundering specialists at Deutsche Bank recommended in 2016 and 2017 that multiple transactions involving legal entities controlled by Donald J. Trump and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, be reported to a federal financial-crimes watchdog.
The transactions, some of which involved Mr. Trump's now-defunct foundation, set off alerts in a computer system designed to detect illicit activity, according to five current and former bank employees. Compliance staff members who then reviewed the transactions prepared so-called suspicious activity reports that they believed should be sent to a unit of the Treasury Department that polices financial crimes.
But executives at Deutsche Bank, which has lent billions of dollars to the Trump and Kushner companies, rejected their employees' advice. The reports were never filed with the government.
Ms. McFadden [a longtime anti-money laundering specialist in Deutsche Bank's Jacksonville office] said she was terminated last year after she raised concerns about the bank's practices. Since then, she has filed complaints with the Securities and Exchange Commission and other regulators about the bank's anti-money-laundering enforcement.
Ms. McFadden said she had reviewed the transactions and found that money had moved from Kushner Companies to Russian individuals. She concluded that the transactions should be reported to the government -- in part because federal regulators had ordered Deutsche Bank, which had been caught laundering billions of dollars for Russians, to toughen its scrutiny of potentially illegal transactions.
... Typically, such a report would be reviewed by a team of anti-money laundering experts who are independent of the business line in which the transactions originated -- in this case, the private-banking division -- according to Ms. McFadden and two former Deutsche Bank managers.
That did not happen with this report. It went to managers in New York who were part of the private bank, which caters to the ultrawealthy. They felt Ms. McFadden's concerns were unfounded and opted not to submit the report to the government, the employees said.
Ms. McFadden and some of her colleagues said they believed the report had been killed to maintain the private-banking division's strong relationship with Mr. Kushner.
After Mr. Trump became president, transactions involving him and his companies were reviewed by an anti-financial crime team at the bank called the Special Investigations Unit. That team, based in Jacksonville, produced multiple suspicious activity reports involving different entities that Mr. Trump owned or controlled, according to three former Deutsche Bank employees who saw the reports in an internal computer system.
Some of those reports involved Mr. Trump's limited liability companies. At least one was related to transactions involving the Donald J. Trump Foundation, two employees said.
Deutsche Bank ultimately chose not to file those suspicious activity reports with the Treasury Department, either, according to three former employees. They said it was unusual for the bank to reject a series of reports involving the same high-profile client.
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