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Westlake Legal Group > Deutsche Bank AG

Jeffrey Epstein’s Opaque Finances Could Become Focal Point for Investigators

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The money, tens of millions of dollars of it, would flow among Jeffrey Epstein’s dozens of bank accounts, shell companies and, at times, charities linked to high-powered friends.

Where was the money going? What was it for? Who was actually sending and receiving it?

A convicted pedophile and accused sex trafficker who surrounded himself with an elite network of business and political leaders, Mr. Epstein enjoyed the trappings of great wealth: private jets, mansions, his own island. But much remains unknown about the sources of his wealth.

Legions of lawyers, bankers and accountants have been trying in recent weeks to solve that mystery, and their quest is unlikely to end after Mr. Epstein was found dead on Saturday morning. The answers could illuminate how Mr. Epstein allegedly operated a long-running sex-trafficking operation, whether he had help from others and who — including Mr. Epstein’s victims — will receive any of his remaining assets. It is not known if Mr. Epstein had a will.

Interviews with people briefed on various investigations into Mr. Epstein’s wealth, and legal and financial documents in multiple countries, show that tens of millions of dollars coursed through his offshore companies and foundations in sometimes unusual ways.

In the early 2000s, for example, $88 million appeared in Mr. Epstein’s Virgin Islands-registered company that normally was home to only small amounts of money. At another point, an entity once linked to Mr. Epstein sent tens of millions of dollars to the charity of a billionaire retail tycoon, Leslie H. Wexner — years after Mr. Wexner has said he severed ties with Mr. Epstein.

Executives at the companies with the deepest connections to Mr. Epstein expect that federal prosecutors will intensify their focus on his financial affairs. Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States attorney for Manhattan, said on Saturday that his office’s investigation into Mr. Epstein and those around him would continue, despite his death.

Officials at JPMorgan Chase and Deutsche Bank, the two banks that for years served Mr. Epstein, have spent recent weeks poring through their records, belatedly trying to ascertain how they ended up doing business with a sex criminal and what Mr. Epstein was using his bank accounts for, according to people familiar with the internal reviews.

Years before Mr. Epstein’s accounts were shut down, compliance officers and other employees at both banks had urged executives to stop serving Mr. Epstein, citing the legal and reputational risks of working with him, according to former Deutsche Bank and JPMorgan employees. At both banks, managers and executives rejected that advice and kept doing business with the lucrative client.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_159011859_4b159e7f-8aa6-4897-bae0-2d542f8cc170-articleLarge Jeffrey Epstein’s Opaque Finances Could Become Focal Point for Investigators Wexner, Leslie H Sex Crimes L Brands Inc. JPMorgan Chase&Company Epstein, Jeffrey E (1953- ) Deutsche Bank AG

Leslie H. Wexner, the chief executive of the apparel conglomerate L Brands, with his wife, Abigail, in 2014. The knottiest financial enigma involves Mr. Epstein’s relationship with Mr. Wexner, who for years entrusted Mr. Epstein with his financial life.CreditJay Laprete/Associated Press

Deutsche Bank, where Mr. Epstein was a client from 2013 until June 2019, has been handing over transaction-by-transaction data to federal prosecutors and other authorities, according to two people familiar with the matter. One of those people, who was briefed on the bank’s internal review, said it appeared that Mr. Epstein was using his accounts for sex trafficking and possibly other illegal activity. The banker who initiated the relationship with Mr. Epstein left Deutsche Bank last year, around the time that the company decided to begin shutting down Mr. Epstein’s accounts, according to one of the people.

JPMorgan has not been contacted by government authorities, a person familiar with the bank said, but executives expect they will be asked to provide records about their relationship with Mr. Epstein, which lasted from the late 1990s until 2013.

But the knottiest financial enigma involves Mr. Epstein’s relationship with Mr. Wexner, the chief executive of the apparel conglomerate L Brands, who for years entrusted Mr. Epstein with his financial life.

L Brands, a publicly traded company that owns Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Body Works, has hired a prominent law firm, Davis Polk & Wardwell, to investigate what role, if any, Mr. Epstein played at the company, according to people briefed on the matter.

Mr. Wexner has said that he had severed ties with Mr. Epstein in late 2007, more than a year after Mr. Epstein was first charged with sexual misconduct with minors. In 2008, Mr. Epstein pleaded guilty in Florida to soliciting prostitution from a minor.

In a letter last week to his family foundation, Mr. Wexner, 81, accused Mr. Epstein of having misappropriated “vast sums.”

People briefed on the matter said Mr. Epstein created a complex web of investment vehicles for Mr. Wexner, then collected high fees or withdrew funds for his personal use. Tax records show that many millions of dollars moved from one of Mr. Wexner’s charities to a charity that Mr. Epstein controlled.

But Mr. Wexner has not made public evidence showing that Mr. Epstein misappropriated the money, disclosed how much money Mr. Epstein took or said where Mr. Epstein misappropriated the money from. For about 16 years, Mr. Wexner had formally delegated to Mr. Epstein virtually blanket control of his finances — the authority to sign checks, borrow money, buy and sell real estate and hire workers on his behalf.

Mr. Wexner said he discovered the missing money when he and Mr. Epstein parted ways in 2007. The billionaire never contacted the state and federal authorities who were investigating Mr. Epstein at the time for sex crimes, according to people briefed on the matter. Instead, Mr. Wexner’s lawyers worked out a private arrangement in which Mr. Epstein’s foundation and business would repay some of the misappropriated money, the people said. They said Mr. Epstein returned about $100 million to Mr. Wexner.

But in 2011 — four years after Mr. Wexner has said he had severed all ties with Mr. Epstein — Mr. Wexner’s charitable foundation received a $56 million contribution from a trust linked to Mr. Epstein, according to charity records and other financial documents reviewed by The New York Times.

Deutsche Bank in Manhattan. Officials at the bank and at JP Morgan Chase have spent recent weeks poring through their records, belatedly trying to ascertain how they ended up doing business with Mr. Epstein.CreditJeenah Moon for The New York Times

The trust, named “Community Interest,” had been listed as being under Mr. Epstein’s control in a Swiss bank account, according to financial records included in a leak to the French newspaper Le Monde. The documents were shared with The Times through a collaboration organized by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. It is not clear from public records who controlled Community Interest in 2011.

Thomas Davies, a spokesman for Mr. Wexner, said in a statement, “A Charitable Remainder Trust established prior to Mr. Epstein’s termination in 2007 matured according to its terms and assets flowed into the charitable fund at the time of its maturity.”

Through his spokesman, Mr. Wexner declined repeated interview requests and to answer questions as to why he did not contact the authorities about the claims that Mr. Epstein had misappropriated his money.

The flow of money between the foundations, the apparent mixing of private and charitable funds and the use of a foundation to settle a claim of misappropriation appears problematic, said Ray Madoff, a professor at the Boston College Law School and an expert in rules governing charities.

“It definitely raises questions,” Ms. Madoff said. “None of this seems to be engaged in for charitable purposes. It seems it was being engaged in for unwinding their affairs. Using charities for that is not really appropriate.”

Tens of millions of dollars were also flowing in and out of a tiny financial advisory company that Mr. Epstein incorporated on St. Thomas, in the United States Virgin Islands.

Sometime between June 2000 and June 2001 — when Mr. Epstein was serving as a financial adviser to Mr. Wexner — $88 million suddenly appeared in the company’s coffers, according to documents filed in St. Thomas. It was an extraordinary sum for such an offshore company, where a lone shareholder of a private holding company would generally only invest a token amount to keep the company legally solvent.

Then, over the next several years, the money was periodically withdrawn from the company, the filings show. There are no public clues as to where the $88 million came from or where it went. After 2005, the company and its successor had no more than $700,000 in their bank accounts at any one time.

Two of Mr. Epstein’s longtime attorneys, Darren Indyke and Jeffrey Schantz, were involved with some of his trusts and other entities in New York and in the Virgin Islands, according to incorporation documents. Neither lawyer responded to requests for comment.

In a sign that the attorneys are bracing for government scrutiny of Mr. Epstein’s companies, Mr. Indyke and Mr. Schantz both recently hired criminal defense lawyers.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

JPMorgan Kept Jeffrey Epstein as a Client Despite Internal Warnings

When compliance officers at JPMorgan Chase conducted a sweep of their wealthy clients a decade ago, they recommended that the bank cut its ties to the financier Jeffrey E. Epstein because his accounts posed unacceptable legal and reputational risks.

Yet Mr. Epstein, who had been charged with sex crimes and pleaded guilty in 2008 to solicitation of prostitution, remained a JPMorgan client until 2013.

The main reason, according to six former senior executives and other bank employees familiar with the matter, was that Mary C. Erdoes, one of JPMorgan’s highest-ranking executives, intervened to keep him as a client.

Part of her rationale was that Mr. Epstein played a lucrative role recruiting new customers to JPMorgan’s private-banking division, which caters to ultra-wealthy people and families, the six employees said. That made him an especially coveted client.

The episode is another example of how powerful institutions and individuals, eager to profit from Mr. Epstein and his network of wealthy acquaintances, looked past his criminal history and sex offender status. As a result, he managed to retain crucial business connections even as, prosecutors said in a federal indictment last month, he engaged in the sexual trafficking of girls as young as 14.

Mr. Epstein, a JPMorgan client for about 15 years, is being held without bail in a Manhattan jail. He has pleaded not guilty to the sex-trafficking charges. His lawyers did not respond to requests for comment.

Joseph Evangelisti, a JPMorgan spokesman, disputed The New York Times’s reporting. “Mary would never overrule our compliance team or other controls functions to retain a customer,” he said. “She has only one recollection of formally meeting with the customer, which was the day she fired him as a client.”

Ms. Erdoes, viewed within JPMorgan as a potential successor to Jamie Dimon, the longtime chief executive, was not alone in making the case for Mr. Epstein inside the bank.

James E. Staley, who ran the bank’s asset-management division, which included the private bank, from 2001 to 2009, built JPMorgan’s relationship with Mr. Epstein.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_137525829_29056482-1213-46f9-ab48-2511543d3486-articleLarge JPMorgan Kept Jeffrey Epstein as a Client Despite Internal Warnings Staley, James E Sex Crimes JPMorgan Chase&Company Epstein, Jeffrey E (1953- ) Deutsche Bank AG Barclays PLC

Mary C. Erdoes, one of JPMorgan’s top executives, intervened to keep Mr. Epstein as a client, according to six former senior executives and other bank employees.CreditLucy Nicholson/Reuters

During that period, Mr. Epstein introduced Mr. Staley to dozens of wealthy people who became valuable customers of the private bank, a person with knowledge of the relationship told The Times.

In 2002, Leslie H. Wexner, the billionaire founder of the L Brands retail empire that includes Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Body Works, opened an account at JPMorgan’s private-banking offices in Midtown Manhattan. Bankers there received a stack of stock certificates worth roughly $1 billion that Mr. Wexner wanted to deposit, according to two private-bank employees who were there.

At the time, Mr. Epstein was the personal financial adviser to Mr. Wexner, who had empowered him to make numerous financial and investment decisions on his behalf. A person close to Mr. Wexner said the retail magnate’s relationship with JPMorgan predated his relationship with Mr. Epstein.

Mr. Epstein connected Mr. Staley to Glenn Dubin, who was then running the hedge fund Highbridge Capital Management. In 2004, Mr. Staley arranged for JPMorgan to buy a majority stake in the fund. The deal transformed JPMorgan’s asset-management division into a crucial profit engine for the entire company, and propelled Mr. Staley to new career heights.

Mr. Staley is now the chief executive of the British bank Barclays. A Barclays spokesman for declined to comment on Mr. Staley’s behalf.

At JPMorgan, Mr. Epstein’s accounts attracted scrutiny when the bank’s compliance team, beginning at the end of 2008, initiated a wide-ranging review of its customers.

That December, a hedge fund run by Bernard L. Madoff was revealed to be a multibillion-dollar Ponzi scheme. JPMorgan had served as Mr. Madoff’s primary bank for more than two decades, a role that prosecutors later said enabled him to “launder billions of dollars.”

Officials at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency ordered JPMorgan to review its client roster to make sure that customers were not violating laws or depositing tainted funds at the bank, according to four of the former bank employees.

Compliance officers inside JPMorgan’s private bank were instructed to comb through the files of all clients to confirm that their paperwork was in order and that nothing about the nature of their lives or work could entangle the bank in illegal activity or otherwise damage its reputation.

The review lasted multiple years, and Mr. Epstein’s accounts were flagged as potentially problematic, the former employees said. A team of company lawyers and compliance officers concluded that JPMorgan should eject him as a client. The exact nature of their concerns is unclear, but by then Mr. Epstein had been imprisoned in Florida and required to register as a sex offender.

James E. Staley, a former high-ranking JPMorgan executive who is now the chief executive of the British bank Barclays, was an ally of Mr. Epstein’s.CreditTolga Akmen/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Mr. Epstein, however, had loyal allies at JPMorgan. While he was incarcerated in 2008 and 2009, Mr. Staley visited him at the Palm Beach, Fla., office, where a judge had permitted Mr. Epstein to spend time during his sentence.

In 2009, Mr. Staley was promoted to lead JPMorgan’s investment bank. His successor as head of the asset-management business was Ms. Erdoes, regarded by her colleagues as an expert at wooing wealthy customers.

Presented with the compliance officers’ recommendation that Mr. Epstein be kicked out of the bank, Ms. Erdoes protested that he was a valuable client, according to the six former employees, some of whom were senior executives with direct knowledge of the events. Losing Mr. Epstein would mean potentially losing connections to other lucrative clients, she warned.

Four of the former employees said that they were under the impression Ms. Erdoes was acting in the interests of Mr. Staley, who maintained a strong relationship with Mr. Epstein.

The dispute over whether to jettison Mr. Epstein grew so heated that it became widely known in the bank’s executive suites, three of the former employees said.

Ms. Erdoes ultimately prevailed. A compliance officer left the bank after losing the battle, the three employees said.

In January 2013, regulators were unhappy with JPMorgan’s progress in weeding out potentially bad actors, and the comptroller of the currency’s office publicly ordered the bank to improve its processes for detecting money laundering and rigorously scrutinizing customers.

Later that year, Mr. Staley left JPMorgan and joined a hedge fund. Around that time, JPMorgan cut its ties to Mr. Epstein.

After being expelled by JPMorgan, Mr. Epstein moved his business to Deutsche Bank, where he opened dozens of accounts. Compliance officers at the German bank raised concerns about Mr. Epstein and transactions that they regarded as suspicious, and they tried to get the bank to end its relationship with him. As at JPMorgan, executives overruled their concerns.

Deutsche Bank stopped doing business with Mr. Epstein in June 2019.

Ms. Erdoes, who joined JPMorgan in 1996, remains in charge of the asset-management division, which has more than $2 trillion in assets. She also has a seat on JPMorgan’s powerful operating committee.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Deutsche Bank’s Turnaround Costs Lead to Big Loss

Westlake Legal Group 24desutschebank2-facebookJumbo Deutsche Bank’s Turnaround Costs Lead to Big Loss Sewing, Christian Layoffs and Job Reductions Germany Deutsche Bank AG Banking and Financial Institutions

Deutsche Bank’s plans to retreat from risky investment banking, fire thousands of people and return to its German roots may eventually create a healthier lender. In the short term, the overhaul will be a major financial drain.

That was made clear on Wednesday, after the bank reported a loss of 3.2 billion euros, or $3.6 billion, from April through June, as it subtracted the costs of a restructuring plan announced earlier this month. The plan is seen as a last-ditch attempt to arrest a decade of decline.

The loss, which was more than the bank had flagged earlier in July, underscores the challenges facing Christian Sewing, the bank’s chief executive, as he tries to regain the confidence of customers, investors and regulators.

Deutsche Bank said earlier this month that the quarterly loss would be €2.8 billion. The bank’s shares fell almost 6 percent in Wednesday morning trading as investors registered their disappointment, though the stock later recovered some of the losses.

[Read more about Deutsche Bank’s overhaul plans.]

The shares have fallen more than 90 percent from their high in 2007, shortly before the beginning of the global banking crisis.

“A substantial part of our restructuring costs is already digested in the second quarter,” Mr. Sewing said in a statement. “Excluding transformation charges the bank would be profitable.”

Nevertheless, the bank will report a loss for the full year, James von Moltke, the Deutsche Bank chief financial officer, told reporters during a conference call.

The bank, which is based in Frankfurt, said on July 7 that it would cut back investment banking operations, which are concentrated in New York and London, and refocus on less glamorous, less hazardous businesses, like helping German exporters manage financial transactions abroad.

[Deutsche Bank uncovered suspicious transactions involving Jeffrey Epstein, the financier charged with sex trafficking.]

About 18,000 people, one-fifth of the work force, will lose their jobs as part of the plan, and more than $300 billion in risky assets will be quarantined in a separate unit. Deutsche Bank said Wednesday that 900 people had already been given notice, primarily in a unit focused on stock markets that has been losing money and is being wound down.

The plan is an attempt to address one of Deutsche Bank’s most urgent problems: its high costs relative to sales. The bank is much less efficient than rivals like ING of the Netherlands.

But the plan will be costly in the short term. Severance payments and other expenses will total €7.4 billion through 2022, the bank said earlier in July. At the same time, revenue is certain to fall as the bank shrinks, creating the risk of a vicious circle of declining income and profits.

Revenue in the second quarter fell 6 percent to €6.2 billion, Deutsche Bank said.

The bank is not the only German company suffering. Daimler, like Deutsche Bank traditionally a pillar of the economy, on Wednesday reported a loss of 1.2 billion euros in the second quarter after sales of Mercedes-Benz cars fell.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Deutsche Bank’s Turnaround Costs Lead to Big Loss

Westlake Legal Group 24desutschebank2-facebookJumbo Deutsche Bank’s Turnaround Costs Lead to Big Loss Sewing, Christian Layoffs and Job Reductions Germany Deutsche Bank AG Banking and Financial Institutions

Deutsche Bank’s plans to retreat from risky investment banking, fire thousands of people and return to its German roots may eventually create a healthier lender. In the short term, the overhaul will be a major financial drain.

That was made clear on Wednesday, after the bank reported a loss of 3.2 billion euros, or $3.6 billion, from April through June, as it subtracted the costs of a restructuring plan announced earlier this month. The plan is seen as a last-ditch attempt to arrest a decade of decline.

The loss, which was more than the bank had flagged earlier in July, underscores the challenges facing Christian Sewing, the bank’s chief executive, as he tries to regain the confidence of customers, investors and regulators.

Deutsche Bank said earlier this month that the quarterly loss would be €2.8 billion. The bank’s shares fell almost 6 percent in Wednesday morning trading as investors registered their disappointment, though the stock later recovered some of the losses.

[Read more about Deutsche Bank’s overhaul plans.]

The shares have fallen more than 90 percent from their high in 2007, shortly before the beginning of the global banking crisis.

“A substantial part of our restructuring costs is already digested in the second quarter,” Mr. Sewing said in a statement. “Excluding transformation charges the bank would be profitable.”

Nevertheless, the bank will report a loss for the full year, James von Moltke, the Deutsche Bank chief financial officer, told reporters during a conference call.

The bank, which is based in Frankfurt, said on July 7 that it would cut back investment banking operations, which are concentrated in New York and London, and refocus on less glamorous, less hazardous businesses, like helping German exporters manage financial transactions abroad.

[Deutsche Bank uncovered suspicious transactions involving Jeffrey Epstein, the financier charged with sex trafficking.]

About 18,000 people, one-fifth of the work force, will lose their jobs as part of the plan, and more than $300 billion in risky assets will be quarantined in a separate unit. Deutsche Bank said Wednesday that 900 people had already been given notice, primarily in a unit focused on stock markets that has been losing money and is being wound down.

The plan is an attempt to address one of Deutsche Bank’s most urgent problems: its high costs relative to sales. The bank is much less efficient than rivals like ING of the Netherlands.

But the plan will be costly in the short term. Severance payments and other expenses will total €7.4 billion through 2022, the bank said earlier in July. At the same time, revenue is certain to fall as the bank shrinks, creating the risk of a vicious circle of declining income and profits.

Revenue in the second quarter fell 6 percent to €6.2 billion, Deutsche Bank said.

The bank is not the only German company suffering. Daimler, like Deutsche Bank traditionally a pillar of the economy, on Wednesday reported a loss of 1.2 billion euros in the second quarter after sales of Mercedes-Benz cars fell.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Deutsche Bank Reports Big Loss as Overhaul Costs Bite

Westlake Legal Group 24deutschebank-facebookJumbo Deutsche Bank Reports Big Loss as Overhaul Costs Bite Sewing, Christian Layoffs and Job Reductions Germany Deutsche Bank AG Banking and Financial Institutions

Deutsche Bank’s plans to retreat from risky investment banking, fire thousands of people and return to its German roots may eventually create a healthier lender. In the short term, the overhaul will be a major financial drain.

That was made clear on Wednesday, after the bank reported a loss of 3.2 billion euros, or $3.6 billion, from April through June, as it subtracted the costs of a restructuring plan announced earlier this month. The plan is seen as a last-ditch attempt to arrest a decade of decline.

The loss, which was expected, underscores the challenges facing Christian Sewing, the bank’s chief executive, as he tries to regain the confidence of customers, investors and regulators.

Deutsche Bank said earlier in July that the quarterly loss would be €2.8 billion.

“A substantial part of our restructuring costs is already digested in the second quarter,” Mr. Sewing said in a statement. “Excluding transformation charges the bank would be profitable.”

Deutsche Bank shares have fallen more than 90 percent from their high in 2007, shortly before the beginning of the global banking crisis.

The bank, which is based in Frankfurt, said on July 7 that it would cut back investment banking operations, which are concentrated in New York and London, and refocus on less glamorous, less hazardous businesses, like helping German exporters manage financial transactions abroad.

About 18,000 people, one-fifth of the work force, will lose their jobs as part of the plan, and more than $300 billion in risky assets will be quarantined in a separate unit. Deutsche Bank said Wednesday that 900 people had already been given notice.

The plan is an attempt to address one of Deutsche Bank’s most urgent problems, its high costs relative to sales. The bank is much less efficient than rivals like ING of the Netherlands.

But the plan will be costly in the short term. Severance payments and other expenses will total €7.4 billion through 2022, the bank said earlier in July. At the same time, revenue is certain to fall as the bank shrinks, creating the risk of a vicious circle of declining income and profits.

Revenue in the second quarter fell 6 percent to €6.2 billion, Deutsche Bank said.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Jeffrey Epstein Moved Money Overseas in Transactions His Bank Flagged to U.S.

As Deutsche Bank officials this year scrambled to extricate themselves from a yearslong relationship with Jeffrey Epstein, the wealthy financier charged this month with sex trafficking, they uncovered suspicious transactions in which Mr. Epstein had moved money out of the United States.

Deutsche Bank reported the transactions to a federal agency in charge of policing financial crimes, according to people familiar with the bank’s internal processes. The report came as the bank started looking for signs that Mr. Epstein was using his financial resources for the purposes of sex trafficking.

Mr. Epstein, who has been accused of operating a sex-trafficking ring involving dozens of victims, some as young as 14, is being held in a Manhattan jail cell after federal prosecutors argued he was a flight risk, citing his vast financial resources. He has a byzantine network of businesses and personal holdings, which include real estate, an island and private planes valued at more than $500 million. Mr. Epstein’s lawyer, Reid Weingarten, could not immediately be reached for comment Tuesday afternoon.

Deutsche Bank executives are still trying to understand the depth and scope of the bank’s relationship with Mr. Epstein, who has been a client of its private-banking division since at least 2013 — years after his conduct became public in a prostitution case involving a teenage girl.

Deutsche Bank has been contacted by prosecutors and other government authorities investigating Mr. Epstein. Joerg Eigendorf, a Deutsche Bank spokesman, said the bank was “absolutely committed to cooperating with all relevant authorities.”

The bank decided to sever ties with Mr. Epstein late last year, after The Miami Herald published an investigation into the government’s handling of the earlier sexual abuse allegations against him. But that process proved more complicated and time-consuming than executives had initially anticipated because Deutsche Bank’s private-banking division had opened several dozen accounts for Mr. Epstein and his businesses.

The bank’s antiquated technology systems did not help. On a number of occasions, Deutsche Bank executives had thought they had shut down all of Mr. Epstein’s accounts, only to learn that there were others that they had not previously been aware of, according to one of the people.

As of late spring, there were still transactions taking place in some of Mr. Epstein’s Deutsche Bank accounts, the people said. Executives now believe that they have closed all of Mr. Epstein’s accounts.

The bank’s relationship with Mr. Epstein has been another black eye for Deutsche Bank, which is laying off thousands of employees as it struggles to return to profitability. The bank has been dogged by repeated financial scandals. It is under federal criminal investigation for potential money laundering, an investigation that has raised questions about Deutsche Bank’s handling of suspicious activity reports.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_158178663_4832ffde-03ea-4b11-8cb0-2fd413a4012a-articleLarge Jeffrey Epstein Moved Money Overseas in Transactions His Bank Flagged to U.S. human trafficking Epstein, Jeffrey E (1953- ) Deutsche Bank AG Banking and Financial Institutions

Deutsche Bank executives are still trying to understand the depth and scope of the bank’s relationship with Mr. Epstein.CreditRick Friedman/Getty Images

The bank also is under a microscope because it lent hundreds of millions of dollars to President Trump at a time when he was largely frozen out of the mainstream financial system.

Mr. Epstein appears to have moved his business to Deutsche Bank after JP Morgan Chase cut ties with him. He had been a client of JPMorgan’s private-banking division from the late 1990s until around 2013, five years after he had pleaded guilty to state prostitution charges.

In addition to wealth-management accounts, Deutsche Bank also provided loans to Mr. Epstein and his businesses, according to people familiar with the relationship.

That relationship has been cause for concern within the bank even before the heightened scrutiny brought by The Herald’s reporting.

In 2015 and 2016, anti-money laundering compliance officers in Deutsche Bank’s offices in New York and Jacksonville, Fla., raised a variety of concerns about the work the bank was doing with Mr. Epstein. The employees were concerned that the bank’s reputation could be harmed if it became public that Mr. Epstein was a client, according to the people familiar with the internal processes.

In addition, the compliance officers on at least one occasion noticed potentially illegal activity in one of Mr. Epstein’s accounts, including transactions in which money was moving outside the United States, the people said. The compliance officers produced a so-called suspicious activity report, but it is unclear whether the report was ever filed with the Treasury Department’s financial-crimes division.

Despite the compliance officers’ misgivings, the bank continued to do extensive business with Mr. Epstein.

Earlier this year, as the bank rushed to disentangle itself from him, officials discovered additional transactions that they saw as problematic, the people said. That prompted the bank to submit a suspicious activity report to the Treasury Department.

The nature of the bank’s concerns about the 2019 transactions was not clear. Just because a bank files a suspicious activity report does not mean the transaction was actually improper: Banks sometimes err on the side of over-reporting troubling transactions to avoid government criticism that they missed red flags.

The report was filed with the government as Deutsche Bank conducted an internal investigation into its relationship with Mr. Epstein. Deutsche Bank officials are still trying to determine what Mr. Epstein was using his accounts for, including where and to whom he had previously moved money.

“We’re still trying to get our arms around it,” one of the people said.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Jeffrey Epstein’s Fortune May Be More Illusion Than Fact

When federal prosecutors announced sex-trafficking charges against Jeffrey Epstein this week, they described him as “a man of nearly infinite means.” They argued that his vast wealth — and his two private jets — made him a flight risk.

Mr. Epstein is routinely described as a billionaire and brilliant financier, and he rubbed elbows with the powerful, including former and future presidents. Even after his 2008 guilty plea in a prostitution case in Florida, he promoted himself as a financial wizard who used arcane mathematical models, and he often dropped the names of Nobel Prize-winning friends. He told potential clients that they had to invest a minimum of $1 billion. At his peak in the early 2000s, a magazine profile said he employed 150 people, some working out of the historic Villard Houses on Madison Avenue.

Much of that appears to be an illusion, and there is little evidence that Mr. Epstein is a billionaire.

Mr. Epstein’s wealth may have depended less on his math acumen than his connections to two men — Steven J. Hoffenberg, a onetime owner of The New York Post and a notorious fraudster later convicted of running a $460 million Ponzi scheme, and Leslie H. Wexner, the billionaire founder of retail chains including The Limited and the chief executive of the company that owns Victoria’s Secret.

Mr. Hoffenberg was Mr. Epstein’s partner in two ill-fated takeover bids in the 1980s, including one of Pan American World Airways, and would later claim that Mr. Epstein had been part of the scheme that landed him in jail — although Mr. Epstein was never charged. With Mr. Wexner, Mr. Epstein formed a financial and personal bond that baffled longtime associates of the wealthy retail magnate, who was his only publicly disclosed investor.

[President Trump was once a friend of Jeffrey Epstein. Now he’s “not a fan.”]

Mr. Epstein’s firm, Financial Trust Company, has released no audited financial statements or performance reports to back up his claims of investment prowess. In a 2002 court filing, Mr. Epstein said he had 20 employees, far fewer than reported figures around that time. Six years later, he lost large sums of money in the financial crisis. And friends and patrons — including Mr. Wexner — deserted him after he pleaded guilty to prostitution charges in 2008.

Mr. Epstein, 66, is doubtless very rich: His real estate alone — one of Manhattan’s largest private mansions, a Palm Beach estate, a Paris apartment, his own Caribbean island and a huge New Mexico ranch — is worth more than $200 million. His investment firm reported having $88 million in capital from its shareholders in 2002.

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Westlake Legal Group 09eppsteinVIDEO-videoSixteenByNine3000 Jeffrey Epstein’s Fortune May Be More Illusion Than Fact Wexner, Leslie H Sex Crimes prostitution Ponzi and Pyramid Schemes human trafficking Hoffenberg, Steven High Net Worth Individuals Epstein, Jeffrey E (1953- ) Deutsche Bank AG Dalton School Child Abuse and Neglect Black, Leon D Bear Stearns Cos

A registered sex offender known for his lavish lifestyle and high-profile connections to the rich and powerful, the financier Jeffrey Epstein is facing new charges that he exploited dozens of young girls for sex acts.CreditCreditRick Friedman/Corbis, via Getty Images

He appears to have been doing business and trading currencies through Deutsche Bank until just a few months ago, according to two people familiar with his business activities. But as the possibility of federal charges loomed, the bank ended its client relationship with Mr. Epstein. It is not clear what the value of those accounts was at the time they were closed.

A lawyer for Mr. Epstein, Reid Weingarten, did not respond to messages seeking comment.

Mr. Epstein’s big break came when he was teaching math at the Dalton School, a prestigious Manhattan private school, in the mid-1970s. He had tutored the son of Alan Greenberg, the chairman of the mighty investment bank Bear Stearns, and ended up joining the firm.

He left after a few years. Mr. Epstein told Securities and Exchange Commission lawyers in an insider-trading investigation that there were three reasons, according to a 2003 Vanity Fair article. He had been disciplined over lending money to a friend to buy stock, and there were irregularities with his expense account and rumors he was having an affair with a secretary. (Mr. Epstein testified that he had known nothing about any insider trading, and neither he nor anyone else at the firm was charged.)

In 1981, he struck out on his own. He founded his own advisory firm, Intercontinental Assets Group, which he ran out of his apartment on East 66th Street. In 1987, he met Mr. Hoffenberg, then the chief executive of Towers Financial Corporation.

Mr. Hoffenberg said in an interview that he had met Mr. Epstein in New York at the height of the 1980s takeover boom, when Ivan Boesky’s “Merger Mania” was a national best seller. Towers Financial was buying unpaid debt from hospitals, nursing homes and phone companies and trying to collect it — a distinctly unglamorous niche. Mr. Hoffenberg hired Mr. Epstein as a consultant for $25,000 a month, and the two men refashioned themselves as corporate raiders.

Two takeover efforts were spectacular failures. They made a run at Pan Am, and a news release issued by Towers in November 1987 listed their advisers as John Lehman, a former secretary of the Navy; John N. Mitchell, the attorney general during the Nixon administration; and Edward Nixon, former President Richard M. Nixon’s brother. But the bid collapsed after a jetliner exploded over Lockerbie, Scotland, which sent Pan Am into bankruptcy.

Mr. Epstein and Mr. Hoffenberg also made a run at Emery Air Freight — an “epic failure,” according to an affidavit filed by Mr. Hoffenberg in a 2018 lawsuit against Mr. Epstein, which was brought by investors defrauded in Mr. Hoffenberg’s Ponzi scheme. The suit was dismissed.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_157626225_e0373927-4d04-4c1c-ab1c-05238f12ce9f-articleLarge Jeffrey Epstein’s Fortune May Be More Illusion Than Fact Wexner, Leslie H Sex Crimes prostitution Ponzi and Pyramid Schemes human trafficking Hoffenberg, Steven High Net Worth Individuals Epstein, Jeffrey E (1953- ) Deutsche Bank AG Dalton School Child Abuse and Neglect Black, Leon D Bear Stearns Cos

Among his valuable properties, Mr. Epstein owns one of Manhattan’s largest private mansions, at 9 East 71st Street.CreditYana Paskova for The New York Times

One takeover bid involving Mr. Epstein met with success: He told Vanity Fair in 2003 that he had invested $1 million, including $300,000 of his own money, in a raid on Pennwalt, a chemical processing firm in Philadelphia. Pennwalt eventually accepted an offer from a French company that was nearly double the price at which the investor group began acquiring shares, giving Mr. Epstein a profit.

In 1988, when Mr. Epstein was still working for Mr. Hoffenberg, he formed the investment firm that would be the nexus for his connections to powerful people: J. Epstein & Company. One of those people, Mr. Wexner, would become the apparent foundation of Mr. Epstein’s riches.

Mr. Epstein met — and evidently charmed — Robert Meister, the vice chairman of the insurance giant Aon, on a flight from New York to Palm Beach, Fla., according to an account by the novelist James Patterson in his nonfiction book “Filthy Rich.”

Mr. Meister, who could not be reached for comment, introduced Mr. Epstein to Mr. Wexner. There appears to have been a near instant rapport.

Robert Morosky, who had been the vice chairman of The Limited, was surprised Mr. Wexner took to Mr. Epstein so readily. “Everyone was mystified as to what his appeal was,” Mr. Morosky said. “I checked around and found out he was a private high school math teacher, and that was all I could find out. There was just nothing there.”

At the time, Forbes estimated Mr. Wexner’s net worth at $1.8 billion, placing him 52nd on its billionaires list. Managing his money would be a lucrative business, but Mr. Epstein did more than that: A corporation controlled jointly by the two men bought a mansion on East 71st Street in Manhattan in 1989 for $13.2 million, at the time the highest price ever paid for a Manhattan townhouse, according to property records.

Mr. Epstein was also closely involved with Mr. Wexner in a corporation that oversaw the transformation of New Albany, an Ohio suburb near The Limited’s Columbus headquarters, into a manicured, neo-Georgian utopia. In 1998, they appeared as co-presidents on the New Albany Corporation’s Ohio registration. Both men owned mansions in the community.

With Leslie H. Wexner, a retail magnate, Mr. Epstein formed a financial and personal bond that baffled Mr. Wexner’s longtime associates.CreditFred Squillante/The Columbus Dispatch, via Associated Press

“I think we both possess the skill of seeing patterns,” Mr. Wexner told Vanity Fair in 2003. “But Jeffrey sees patterns in politics and financial markets, and I see patterns in lifestyle and fashion trends.”

By 1998 — the year he bought Little St. James, a 70-acre island off St. Thomas — Mr. Epstein had renamed his firm Financial Trust Company and moved it to the Virgin Islands. Mr. Epstein said he had told clients that he accepted only investments greater than $1 billion.

A corporate disclosure form from 2002 portrays a less impressive picture. Thomas Volscho, a sociology professor at the College of Staten Island who has been researching for a book on Mr. Epstein, recently obtained the form, which shows Financial Trust had $88 million in contributions from shareholders. In a court filing that year, Mr. Epstein said his firm had about 20 employees, far fewer than the 150 reported at the time by New York magazine.

There were clients other than Mr. Wexner. Mr. Epstein performed some services for the Johnson & Johnson heiress Elizabeth Johnson, showing up as a co-trustee on 14 parcels of land owned in Dutchess County, N.Y. Most of the deeds were recorded in 1998, but Mr. Epstein resigned as a trustee for Ms. Johnson’s revocable trust at the end of that year, according to a document reviewed by The New York Times.

It was also in 1998 that Mr. Epstein took sole possession of the 71st Street mansion. Mr. Wexner conveyed his interest in the corporation that owned it to one controlled by Mr. Epstein for $20 million, according to a person familiar with the transaction.

By 2003, Mr. Epstein had the means to pledge $30 million to Harvard University to fund a program in evolutionary dynamics, seeded with a $6.5 million gift.

But the financial crisis cost Mr. Epstein some of his fortune, and allegations of sexual abuse with teenage girls cost him some of his friends.

Steven J. Hoffenberg, a onetime owner of The New York Post, was convicted of running a $460 million Ponzi scheme.CreditDanny Johnston/Associated Press

Bear Stearns — the bank that had given Mr. Epstein his start — was still among his investments when the crisis hit. According to a lawsuit he later filed against the bank, Mr. Epstein controlled about 176,000 shares of Bear Stearns, worth nearly $18 million, in August 2007.

Mr. Epstein sold 56,000 shares at $101 each that month. He sold the remaining 120,000 shares in March 2008 as the firm was collapsing — 20,000 at $35 and the rest at $3.04, losing big. He also lost about $50 million in one of Bear’s hedge funds.

By the time Bear Stearns came apart, Mr. Epstein was at the center of his first abuse case. He pleaded guilty to prostitution charges in 2008, receiving a jail sentence that allowed him to work at home during the day but also required him to register as a sex offender.

A spokeswoman for Mr. Wexner said he “severed ties” with Mr. Epstein 12 years ago. But not everyone immediately abandoned Mr. Epstein after he was charged in 2006.

Mr. Epstein was an investor in Environmental Solutions Worldwide, a maker of emission-control products, in 2011 with several people close to Leon Black, the billionaire founder of the private equity firm Apollo Management, including Mr. Black’s four children. It was for that company that Mr. Epstein’s company filed its lone S.E.C. disclosure form.

The company’s current shareholders are not publicly available; it no longer trades on a registered exchange, and does not have to make public filings.

Mr. Epstein was also listed as a director of the Debra and Leon Black Family Foundation until 2012, although the foundation said he had resigned in 2007. “The inaccuracy was discovered and corrected,” the foundation said in a statement.

In recent years, Mr. Epstein was a client of Deutsche Bank’s private-banking division, which caters to ultrawealthy individuals and families. The bank provided Mr. Epstein with loans and wealth-management accounts, as well as trading services through its investment banking arm, according to two people familiar with the relationship. At one point, compliance officers at Deutsche Bank raised concerns about transactions by Mr. Epstein’s company, because he posed reputational risk to the bank, the people said.

Deutsche Bank managers overruled their concerns, the people said. They noted that there was nothing illegal about the transactions and that Mr. Epstein was a lucrative client.

Earlier this year, the bank ended its relationship with Mr. Epstein.

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Jeffrey Epstein’s ‘Infinite Means’ May Be a Mirage

When federal prosecutors announced sex-trafficking charges against Jeffrey Epstein this week, they described him as “a man of nearly infinite means.” They argued that his vast wealth — and his two private jets — made him a flight risk.

Mr. Epstein is routinely described as a billionaire and brilliant financier, and he rubbed elbows with the powerful, including former and future presidents. Even after his 2008 guilty plea in a prostitution case in Florida, he promoted himself as a financial wizard who used arcane mathematical models, and he often dropped the names of Nobel Prize-winning friends. He told potential clients that they had to invest a minimum of $1 billion. At his peak in the early 2000s, a magazine profile said he employed 150 people, some working out of the historic Villard Houses on Madison Avenue.

Much of that appears to be an illusion, and there is little evidence that Mr. Epstein is a billionaire.

Mr. Epstein’s wealth may have depended less on his math acumen than his connections to two men — Steven J. Hoffenberg, a onetime owner of The New York Post and a notorious fraudster later convicted of running a $460 million Ponzi scheme, and Leslie H. Wexner, the billionaire founder of retail chains including The Limited and the chief executive of the company that owns Victoria’s Secret.

Mr. Hoffenberg was Mr. Epstein’s partner in two ill-fated takeover bids in the 1980s, including one of Pan American World Airways, and would later claim that Mr. Epstein had been part of the scheme that landed him in jail — although Mr. Epstein was never charged. With Mr. Wexner, Mr. Epstein formed a financial and personal bond that baffled longtime associates of the wealthy retail magnate, who was his only publicly disclosed investor.

Mr. Epstein’s firm, Financial Trust Company, has released no audited financial statements or performance reports to back up his claims of investment prowess. In a 2002 court filing, Mr. Epstein said he had 20 employees, far fewer than reported figures around that time. Six years later, he lost large sums of money in the financial crisis. And friends and patrons — including Mr. Wexner — deserted him after he pleaded guilty to prostitution charges in 2008.

Mr. Epstein, 66, is doubtless very rich: His real estate alone — one of Manhattan’s largest private mansions, a Palm Beach estate, a Paris apartment, his own Caribbean island and a huge New Mexico ranch — is worth more than $200 million. His investment firm reported having $88 million in capital from its shareholders in 2002.

He appears to have been doing business and trading currencies through Deutsche Bank until just a few months ago, according to two people familiar with his business activities. But as the possibility of federal charges loomed, the bank ended its client relationship with Mr. Epstein. It is not clear what the value of those accounts were at the time they were closed.

A lawyer for Mr. Epstein, Reid Weingarten, did not respond to messages seeking comment.

Mr. Epstein’s big break came when he was teaching math at the Dalton School, a prestigious Manhattan private school, in the mid-1970s. He had tutored the son of Alan Greenberg, the chairman of the mighty investment bank Bear Stearns, and ended up joining the firm.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_157626225_e0373927-4d04-4c1c-ab1c-05238f12ce9f-articleLarge Jeffrey Epstein’s ‘Infinite Means’ May Be a Mirage Wexner, Leslie H Sex Crimes Ponzi and Pyramid Schemes Hoffenberg, Steven J. High Net Worth Individuals Epstein, Jeffrey E (1953- ) Deutsche Bank AG Dalton School Black, Leon D Bear Stearns Cos

Among his valuable properties, Mr. Epstein owns one of Manhattan’s largest private mansions, at 9 East 71st Street.CreditYana Paskova for The New York Times

He left after a few years. Mr. Epstein told Securities and Exchange Commission lawyers in an insider-trading investigation that there were three reasons, according to a 2003 Vanity Fair article. He had been disciplined over lending money to a friend to buy stock, and there were irregularities with his expense account and rumors he was having an affair with a secretary. (Mr. Epstein testified that he had known nothing about any insider trading, and neither he nor anyone else at the firm was charged.)

In 1981, he struck out on his own. He founded his own advisory firm, Intercontinental Assets Group, which he ran out of his apartment on East 66th Street. In 1987, he met Mr. Hoffenberg, then the chief executive of Towers Financial Corporation.

Mr. Hoffenberg said in an interview that he had met Mr. Epstein in New York at the height of the 1980s takeover boom, when Ivan Boesky’s “Merger Mania” was a national best seller. Towers Financial was buying unpaid debt from hospitals, nursing homes and phone companies and trying to collect it — a distinctly unglamorous niche. Mr. Hoffenberg hired Mr. Epstein as a consultant for $25,000 a month, and the two men refashioned themselves as corporate raiders.

Two takeover efforts were spectacular failures. They made a run at Pan Am, and a news release issued by Towers in November 1987 listed their advisers as John Lehman, a former secretary of the Navy; John N. Mitchell, the attorney general during the Nixon administration; and Edward Nixon, former President Richard M. Nixon’s brother. But the bid collapsed after a jetliner exploded over Lockerbie, Scotland, which sent Pan Am into bankruptcy.

Mr. Epstein and Mr. Hoffenberg also made a run at Emery Air Freight — an “epic failure,” according to an affidavit filed by Mr. Hoffenberg in a 2018 lawsuit against Mr. Epstein, which was brought by investors defrauded in Mr. Hoffenberg’s Ponzi scheme. The suit was dismissed.

One takeover bid involving Mr. Epstein met with success: He told Vanity Fair in 2003 that he had invested $1 million, including $300,000 of his own money, in a raid on Pennwalt, a chemical processing firm in Philadelphia. Pennwalt eventually accepted an offer from a French company that was nearly double the price at which the investor group began acquiring shares, giving Mr. Epstein a profit.

In 1988, when Mr. Epstein was still working for Mr. Hoffenberg, he formed the investment firm that would be the nexus for his connections to powerful people: J. Epstein & Company. One of those people, Mr. Wexner, would become the apparent foundation of Mr. Epstein’s riches.

Mr. Epstein met — and evidently charmed — Robert Meister, the vice chairman of the insurance giant Aon, on a flight from New York to Palm Beach, Fla., according to an account by the novelist James Patterson in his nonfiction book “Filthy Rich.”

Mr. Meister, who could not be reached for comment, introduced Mr. Epstein to Mr. Wexner. There appears to have been a near instant rapport.

With Leslie H. Wexner, a retail magnate, Mr. Epstein formed a financial and personal bond that baffled Mr. Wexner’s longtime associates.CreditFred Squillante/The Columbus Dispatch, via Associated Press

Robert Morosky, who had been the vice chairman of The Limited, was surprised Mr. Wexner took to Mr. Epstein so readily. “Everyone was mystified as to what his appeal was,” Mr. Morosky said. “I checked around and found out he was a private high school math teacher, and that was all I could find out. There was just nothing there.”

At the time, Forbes estimated Mr. Wexner’s net worth at $1.8 billion, placing him 52nd on its billionaires list. Managing his money would be a lucrative business, but Mr. Epstein did more than that: A corporation controlled jointly by the two men bought a mansion on East 71st Street in Manhattan in 1989 for $13.2 million, at the time the highest price ever paid for a Manhattan townhouse, according to property records.

Mr. Epstein was also closely involved with Mr. Wexner in a corporation that oversaw the transformation of New Albany, an Ohio suburb near The Limited’s Columbus headquarters, into a manicured, neo-Georgian utopia. In 1998, they appeared as co-presidents on the New Albany Corporation’s Ohio registration. Both men owned mansions in the community.

“I think we both possess the skill of seeing patterns,” Mr. Wexner told Vanity Fair in 2003. “But Jeffrey sees patterns in politics and financial markets, and I see patterns in lifestyle and fashion trends.

By 1998 — the year he bought Little St. James, a 70-acre island off St. Thomas — Mr. Epstein had renamed his firm Financial Trust Company and moved it to the Virgin Islands. Mr. Epstein said he had told clients that he accepted only investments greater than $1 billion.

A corporate disclosure form from 2002 portrays a less impressive picture. Thomas Volscho, a sociology professor at the College of Staten Island who has been researching for a book on Mr. Epstein, recently obtained the form, which shows Financial Trust had $88 million in contributions from shareholders. In a court filing that year, Mr. Epstein said his firm had about 20 employees, far fewer than the 150 reported at the time by New York magazine.

There were clients other than Mr. Wexner. Mr. Epstein performed some services for the Johnson & Johnson heiress Elizabeth Johnson, showing up as a co-trustee on 14 parcels of land owned in Dutchess County, N.Y. Most of the deeds were recorded in 1998, but Mr. Epstein resigned as a trustee for Ms. Johnson’s revocable trust at the end of that year, according to a document reviewed by The New York Times.

It was also in 1998 that Mr. Epstein took sole possession of the 71st Street mansion. Mr. Wexner conveyed his interest in the corporation that owned it to one controlled by Mr. Epstein for $20 million, according to a person familiar with the transaction.

By 2003, Mr. Epstein had the means to pledge $30 million to Harvard University to fund a program in evolutionary dynamics, seeded with a $6.5 million gift.

Steven J. Hoffenberg, a onetime owner of The New York Post, was convicted of running a $460 million Ponzi scheme.CreditDanny Johnston/Associated Press

But the financial crisis cost Mr. Epstein some of his fortune, and allegations of sexual abuse with teenage girls cost him some of his friends.

Bear Stearns — the bank that had given Mr. Epstein his start — was still among his investments when the crisis hit. According to a lawsuit he later filed against the bank, Mr. Epstein controlled about 176,000 shares of Bear Stearns, worth nearly $18 million, in August 2007.

Mr. Epstein sold 56,000 shares at $101 each that month. He sold the remaining 120,000 shares in March 2008 as the firm was collapsing — 20,000 at $35 and the rest at $3.04, losing big. He also lost about $50 million in one of Bear’s hedge funds.

By the time Bear Stearns came apart, Mr. Epstein was at the center of his first abuse case. He pleaded guilty to prostitution charges in 2008, receiving a jail sentence that allowed him to work at home during the day but also required him to register as a sex offender.

A spokeswoman for Mr. Wexner said he “severed ties” with Mr. Epstein 12 years ago. But not everyone immediately abandoned Mr. Epstein after he was charged in 2006.

Mr. Epstein was an investor in Environmental Solutions Worldwide, a maker of emission-control products, in 2011 with several people close to Leon Black, the billionaire founder of the private equity firm Apollo Management, including Mr. Black’s four children. It was for that company that Mr. Epstein’s company filed its lone S.E.C. disclosure form.

The company’s current shareholders are not publicly available; it no longer trades on a registered exchange, and does not have to make public filings.

Mr. Epstein was also listed as a director of the Debra and Leon Black Family Foundation until in 2012, although the foundation said he had resigned in 2007. “The inaccuracy was discovered and corrected,” the foundation said in a statement.

In recent years, Mr. Epstein was a client of Deutsche Bank’s private-banking division, which caters to ultrawealthy individuals and families. The bank provided Mr. Epstein with loans and wealth-management accounts, as well as trading services through its investment banking arm, according to two people familiar with the relationship. At one point, compliance officers at Deutsche Bank raised concerns about transactions by Mr. Epstein’s company, because he posed reputational risk to the bank, the people said.

Deutsche Bank managers overruled their concerns, the people said. They noted that there was nothing illegal about the transactions and that Mr. Epstein was a lucrative client.

Earlier this year, the bank ended its relationship with Mr. Epstein.

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Deutsche Bank Layoffs Begin as Workers Feel Turnaround Plan’s Impact First

Westlake Legal Group 08deutschejobs2-facebookJumbo-v2 Deutsche Bank Layoffs Begin as Workers Feel Turnaround Plan’s Impact First Layoffs and Job Reductions Deutsche Bank AG Banking and Financial Institutions

Deutsche Bank began firing thousands of employees in Asia, Europe and the United States on Monday, moving quickly on at least one part of a strategy meant to arrest years of losses, scandal and decline.

The job cuts, coming hours after the bank announced a “radical” turnaround plan, were a show of decisiveness at the expense of workers and a tacit answer to the question most asked by analysts and investors Monday: Deutsche Bank’s plan looks good on paper, but can managers pull it off?

Christian Sewing, Deutsche Bank’s chief executive, acknowledged on Monday that the bank had failed in the past to follow through on promises to change. As a result, the bank lost money in four of the past five years and will probably report a loss for 2019.

“Some may say you have heard this before,” Mr. Sewing said during a conference call with journalists. “It is different this time.”

Investors appeared unconvinced. Deutsche Bank shares opened higher in trading in Frankfurt, but then gave up the gains and were down around 6 percent by the midafternoon.

Many elements of the bank’s turnaround plan will take months or even years to put in place, including an effort to sequester high-risk assets in a separate unit where they will be sold or retired.

But cutting jobs can be done quickly, at least in countries like the United States and Britain where there are few legal obstacles. So employees felt the most immediate impact of the bank’s plan to reverse its fortunes, leading to scenes outside Deutsche Bank offices that recalled those that unfolded during the financial-sector layoffs after the investment bank Lehman Brothers collapsed in 2008.

Although Mr. Sewing declined on Monday to detail how the cuts, which will ultimately total 18,000 worldwide, would be distributed, they are most likely to be concentrated in New York and London, and in places like Singapore where Deutsche Bank has large investment-banking operations.

Layoff announcements were made to at least two groups at the bank’s United States headquarters in Lower Manhattan. Employees on their way into the building described an office that had been dominated by a sense of foreboding. Around 10 a.m., a group of employees emerged carrying white envelopes containing information about the dismissals. One woman appeared to be crying.

An employee who declined to be identified said that workers had received emails on Sunday telling them what time to come in for the announcements. Human resources personnel thanked the employees for their service and said that deciding to make the layoffs had been difficult for the bank, the employee said.

Deutsche Bank plans to entirely eliminate its equity sales and trading division, a unit of the investment-banking division that generated nearly 2 billion euros, or $2.2 billion, in revenue last year.

Mr. Sewing insisted that Deutsche Bank is not abandoning investment banking, just the businesses that are not profitable. And he said that the United States would “remain a core market.”

Deutsche Bank, he said, would stick with plans it announced last year to relocate its Manhattan offices from Wall Street to the former Time Warner Center on Columbus Circle. The bank will also proceed with plans to move to a new headquarters in the Moorgate section of London, he said.

But Mr. Sewing, a risk management expert who has spent his entire career at Deutsche Bank, clearly wants to set the stage for a new, more sober era focused on serving corporate executives rather than making big bets. Mr. Sewing is the first Deutsche Bank chief executive since the early 2000s without an extensive background in investment banking. On Monday, he appeared to repudiate the bank’s drive since the late 1990s to compete with American megabanks.

“We lost our compass in the last two decades,” he told reporters. “It is my personal purpose to connect this bank with what it used to be.”

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Deutsche Bank Scales Back Ambitions, Announcing Job Cuts and Reorganization

FRANKFURT — Deutsche Bank embarked Sunday on what may be its last chance to reverse a decade of decline, announcing that it would cut a fifth of its work force and slash operations in New York and London.

The reorganization and cost-cutting plan is reminiscent of the bloodletting that followed the financial crisis in 2008. Yet it comes at a time of relative prosperity, the cumulative effect of years of scandal and management missteps. The bank that once symbolized German economic prowess is effectively abandoning any hope of playing in the same league as Goldman Sachs or JPMorgan Chase, and struggling simply to remain relevant.

Ever since it planted its flag on Wall Street by acquiring Bankers Trust in 1999, Deutsche Bank has been trying to prove that global finance was not the exclusive territory of the American megabanks. But it did so by taking chances, including issuing hundreds of billions of dollars in high-risk derivatives and lending money to Donald J. Trump’s organization when other banks wouldn’t.

The financial crisis that began in 2008 exposed a history of sometimes criminal wrongdoing, including rigging interest rates, laundering money and violating United States sanctions against countries like Iran. The scandals, which persisted long past the crisis, eroded Deutsche Bank’s reputation and led to billions of dollars in fines. Regulators anxious to avoid any more financial crises forced Deutsche Bank and other lenders to take fewer risks.

Now the bank, based in Frankfurt, is refocusing on less glamorous, less hazardous businesses like helping German exporters manage financial transactions abroad. About 18,000 people will lose their jobs as Deutsche Bank closes or shrinks operations that sell stocks and bonds. One-third of the management board will leave the bank as part of the overhaul, and more than $300 billion in risky assets will be quarantined in a separate unit.

The question in the months ahead will be whether the turnaround effort by Christian Sewing, Deutsche Bank’s 49-year-old chief executive, comes too late. Other European banks like UBS of Switzerland and Barclays in Britain pared back their ambitions after the 2008 financial crisis, but Deutsche Bank clung to investment banking even as it continued to generate billions of euros in losses.

“We are returning to our roots and to what once made us one of the leading banks in the world,” Mr. Sewing said in a statement on Sunday.

The plan is also a big gamble, carrying significant immediate costs with no guarantee they will revive the bank. Severance payments and other expenses will total 7.4 billion euros, or $8.3 billion, through 2022, Deutsche Bank said. At the same time, revenue is certain to fall as the bank shrinks, creating the risk of a vicious circle of declining income and profits.

“Big question that’s now on the table is whether DB can shrink itself to heightened competitiveness and sustainable profitability without a merger of some sort,” Mohamed A. El-Erian, chief economic adviser at German insurer Allianz, said in a tweet.

The bank did not say how many of the 18,000 jobs to be eliminated will be in New York, London, Germany or other locations. But the cost-cutting focuses on the units that sell stocks and bonds, which are primarily in New York and London. The cuts are the largest by a bank since JPMorgan Chase laid off 19,000 people in 2013, according to Challenger, Gray & Christmas, a Chicago firm that collects data on job losses.

The overhaul announced on Sunday also calls for moving more than $300 billion in high-risk assets to a separate unit, where they will be sold off or retired. That is an attempt to address perceptions that Deutsche Bank continues to be burdened by toxic assets with the potential to produce big losses.

Deutsche Bank said that it expected to report a loss for the second quarter of 2.8 billion euros, or $3.1 billion, after subtracting the costs involved in carrying out the plan. Shareholders will not receive a dividend for 2019 and 2020, the bank said.

ImageWestlake Legal Group 00deutsche2-articleLarge Deutsche Bank Scales Back Ambitions, Announcing Job Cuts and Reorganization United States Sewing, Christian Layoffs and Job Reductions Germany Frankfurt (Germany) Deutsche Bank AG Banking and Financial Institutions

Christian Sewing, Deutsche Bank’s chief executive, in May. The question in the months ahead will be whether his turnaround effort comes too late.CreditThorsten Wagner/EPA, via Shutterstock

Until Mr. Sewing, an expert in risk management, took over last year, Deutsche Bank was led by investment bankers reluctant to make drastic changes. They continued to collect handsome paychecks even as the bank’s share price plummeted. Previous efforts to rein in spending or to remake the bank’s culture of recklessness proved inadequate. The plan outlined on Sunday, which the bank described as “radical,” is an attempt to break decisively with the past.

Deutsche Bank’s appetite for risk was perhaps epitomized by its relationship with Mr. Trump. Deutsche Bank continued to lend to the Trump Organization long after other lenders concluded that the risk was too great. In the last year, Deutsche Bank has also been burdened by investigations of lax money laundering controls and has been under intense scrutiny by regulators in the United States and Europe.

In what may be a belated effort to prevent future scandals, Deutsche Bank said on Sunday that it would invest 4 billion euros through 2022 to improve its internal controls and computer systems.

Deutsche was once the largest bank in Europe as measured by assets. But its stature has declined along with its share price, which has fallen 95 percent from its peak in 2007 to a record low in June. Yet there have been no known takeover offers, even though the bank could be had for a bargain price — a measure of how troubled it is considered within the industry.

An attempt to merge with Commerzbank, also based in Frankfurt, fell apart in April. Shareholders and other critics said the potential benefits were outweighed by the cost of trying to unify the two rivals.

The reorganization plan is an attempt to address the bank’s high operating costs in relation to revenue. The bank said it would reduce its cost-income ratio, a measure of efficiency, to 70 percent by 2022. That compares with 93 percent in the first quarter of 2019. The lower the number, the more efficient a bank is considered to be.

Mr. Sewing told shareholders in May that he was planning “tough cutbacks.”

That includes a management shake-up. On Friday the bank announced the departure of Garth Ritchie, the head of the investment bank.

On Sunday, the bank announced two other top executives will be leaving. They are Sylvie Matherat, the chief regulatory officer blamed for the bank’s failure to emerge from a history of scandal; and Frank Strauss, head of the unit that operates bank branches in Germany.

In recent years, Deutsche Bank has lost depositors to rivals like ING, a Dutch bank that serves German customers online. ING is more than twice as efficient as Deutsche Bank, measured by the number of customers each employee serves.

Painful changes to the German operations appear to have been postponed, however. The powerful union known as ver.di, which represents Deutsche Bank workers, endorsed the overhaul, saying in a statement that it expected most of the job cuts to take place in investment banking.

The plan announced Sunday does not address another urgent problem, the lack of profitable businesses with potential for growth.

Until the financial crisis, Deutsche Bank generated much of its profit from high-risk businesses like issuing and trading derivatives. One reason Deutsche Bank resisted cuts in investment banking for so long was that, properly managed, those businesses can be very lucrative.

But the bank was unable to stem a loss of market share to its American competitors. And regulators quashed many high-risk activities by requiring banks to use more of their own capital and less borrowed money.

“Deutsche Bank has been through a difficult period over the past decade,” Paul Achleitner, the chairman of Deutsche Bank’s supervisory board, said in a statement, “but with this new strategy in place we now have every reason to look forward with confidence and optimism.”

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