In 2016 and 2017, the fraud unit at Deutsche Bank, the financial institution whose name has come up repeatedly during the Special Counsel investigation, flagged bank accounts belonging to Donald Trump and Jared Kushner for suspicious activity. People who worked for the bank who specialized in detecting money laundering recommended that the accounts be reported to federal financial crimes groups.
Activity on accounts belonging to both Trump and Kushner were flagged by Deutsche Bank software that flags anything that appears to be potentially illegal. Five people who once worked at the bank and some who are still employed there confirm this activity to the New York Times.
Curiously, the recommendation that the Trump and Kushner transactions be reported to the federal government were ignored by the people in real positions of power. Both Trump and Kushner have done business over the years with Deutsche Bank to the tune of billions of dollars.
Tammy McFadden, an anti-money laundering specialist, says that this was par for the course for Deutsche Bank. While Trump and Kushner’s accounts seemed to have large amounts of money being passed to and from foreign accounts, not looking further into it is part of keeping clients happy who make the bank a lot of money. She says of their policies:
“You present them with everything, and you give them a recommendation, and nothing happens. It’s the D.B. way. They are prone to discounting everything.”
McFadden herself looked at the accounts in question and discovered that Kushner had passed a lot of money to Russians – precisely during the same time frame that Trump was running for President and the Russians were trying to influence our electoral process.
Whether anything improper occurred or not is unclear, but it sure does look suspicious, and Deutsche Bank really should be more careful with regards to reporting potential money launderers.
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Shannon Barber is a progressive queer feminist and budding political scientist. She is passionate about issues of social justice, including but not limited to racial equality, criminal justice reform, pro-Black politics, and LGBTQ equality. She hopes to change the world, one mind at a time.