Deutsche Bank AG compliance staff in 2016 and 2017 flagged multiple transactions involving legal entities controlled by Donald Trump and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, as needing further review for possible suspicious activity, but executives elected not to act on the information, The New York Times reported.
The alleged transactions set off alarms in the German bank's computer monitoring system, leading employees in its anti-money laundering unit to recommend that the transactions be reported to the U.S. Treasury Department, the Times said, citing information obtained from five current and former bank employees.
According to the Times, Deutsche Bank executives rejected the staffers' recommendations and decided not to alert the Treasury Department.
The specific nature of the transactions was unclear, according to the report, but some allegedly involved the now-defunct Trump Foundation and at least some involved money being moved between overseas entities or individuals. The fact that the transactions were flagged by bank staff does not mean they were improper, the Times noted.
Some of the Deutsche Bank employees interviewed by the Times alleged that the bank's decision not to report the transactions was not uncommon and was in line with the company's "lax approach" to money laundering laws. One source claimed that she was fired in 2018 for raising concerns about Deutsche Bank's enforcement practices.
A Deutsche Bank spokeswoman told the Times that its investigators were never stopped from escalating potentially suspicious activity, and she added that any suggestion that an employee was terminated for raising concerns "is categorically false.”