Deutsche Bank Staff Saw Suspicious Activity in Trump and Kushner Accounts

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Rogifan, May 19, 2019.

  1. Rogifan macrumors Core

    Rogifan

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    #1
    Welp...

    JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — 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.

    The nature of the transactions was not clear. At least some of them involved money flowing back and forth with overseas entities or individuals, which bank employees considered suspicious.
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    In the summer of 2016, Deutsche Bank’s software flagged a series of transactions involving the real estate company of Mr. Kushner, now a senior White House adviser.


    Ms. McFadden, a longtime anti-money laundering specialist in Deutsche Bank’s Jacksonville office, 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.

    Ms. McFadden drafted a suspicious activity report and compiled a small bundle of documents to back up her decision.

    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.
    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/19/...mp-kushner.html#click=https://t.co/gSCImV8mgW
     
  2. samcraig macrumors P6

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  3. Rhonindk macrumors 68040

    Rhonindk

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    #3
    A: This looks suspicious. Send it to B.
    B: Took a look and after analysis it is unfounded.
    A: I didn't like your answer. Let me give it to the NYT years later.

    NYT publishes. Did they do any fact finding or just lead with the source?

    Update: Cannot read article - maxed out on free articles for NYT.
     
  4. pivo6 macrumors 68000

    pivo6

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    #4
    As someone who works for a very large bank (though not in the bank), this says more about Deutsche Bank than anything else. If any of the story is true, expect large fines and loss of jobs at the Bank.
     
  5. appleisking macrumors 6502a

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    #5
    In this case A wanted to send to C as is protocol but B intervened and said do nothing.
     
  6. BeeGood macrumors 68000

    BeeGood

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    #6
    Banks employees are encouraged to fill out a SAR at the slightest hint of impropriety. Banks take AML incredibly seriously and when they don’t, they have half a dozen state and federal regulators in their personal space.

    It’s not unusual for a SAR to get round-filed. I wouldn’t infer that something fishy happened just because a SAR was completed. It would be like inferring that someone committed a crime because someone else called 911 on them.

    EDIT: OK, I see the issue here. It appears that Deutsche Bank’s financial crimes people didn’t look at this and instead it was “reviewed” by someone in wealth management. If true, yikes. People need to lose their jobs.
     
  7. niji Contributor

    niji

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    tokyo
    #7
    corruption at the highest levels of Deutsche Bank.
    although they have been prosecuted and fined in the past, still they do it.
    i hope they are not allowed to do the equivalent of a plea bargain to just get rump-javanka.
    i want rump-javanka jailed, and, Deutsche Bank given a USD 100 million + fine for allowing money laundering.

    2020: biden/abrams or biden/kamala
     
  8. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    #9
    “Slightest hint” isn’t what the regulations say - it’s more serious than that. Still you are required to report before having probable cause.

    If it wasn’t reviewed by compliance that sounds super dodgy though.
     
  9. BeeGood macrumors 68000

    BeeGood

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    #10
    The anti money laundering and bank secrecy laws do state when it is appropriate to file a SAR but, (and this is only based on my own personal experience), they don’t really give much guidance as to when individual employees should complete one. They leave that up to the banks, and most banks prefer to tell employees to err on the side of caution. Beyond wanting to follow the letter of the law, you also want to do the right thing. Nobody wants to be the institution that was used to facilitate the activity of MS-13, or ISIS, or a human sex trafficking ring.

    So banks (again, my own limited experience) do encourage their employees to write up a SAR if they have any suspicions of sketchy financial activity, but what should happen is that all SARS should be reviewed by AML/BSA experts who will not only make sure it’s valid, but also make sure it’s complete and contains enough information for federal regulators to act on if the bank chooses to file it.
     
  10. Rhonindk macrumors 68040

    Rhonindk

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    #11
    Who is C? Feds?
    That isn't bank protocol. Unless things have really changed in the last couple of years.
    Unless you are trying to play "whistle-blower" or some such.
    --- Post Merged, May 20, 2019 ---
    Still, we need to see all the pieces in this issue before condemning.
     
  11. Zenithal macrumors G3

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    #12
    They might be referring to FinCen. It's been fairly standard since 9/11. There's guidelines of what must be reported but anything that is or looks suspicious is open to reporting.

    If someone routinely makes a $500 withdraw a month for years and then makes an out of the blue $3,500 withdraw, a clerk may file a report with the government even if it doesn't meet the guidelines for a report. If they deem the sudden change in withdraw weird, they can file a report. If during the withdraw the client is behaving weird, they can file a report.
     
  12. Rhonindk macrumors 68040

    Rhonindk

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    #13
    Thanks.
    When I left that business it was in place however there was a very specific set of guidelines that had to be addressed internally before that reporting occurred.

    Do you know if that has changed?
     
  13. Zenithal, May 20, 2019
    Last edited: May 20, 2019

    Zenithal macrumors G3

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    #14
    I don't work in banking myself. I only know a little bit through US Trust, which is one of my banks. All I know is the federal guidelines which more or less is for laundering, IIRC. After 9/11 entire industries went cuckoo. People joke about 1984 being the future, but we've been in it for a long time now.

    Banks are pretty anal these days and will report anything remotely non-vanilla. Which is funny because they have zero problems laundering money for cartels.
     
  14. BeeGood macrumors 68000

    BeeGood

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    #15
    Agreed, which is why I said “if true”. If the SAR was only reviewed by private banking personnel, best case is that someone was very negligent and put Deutsche in a bad position, or there are some really lousy internal controls.

    That’s the best case, which isn’t good at all.
     
  15. vrDrew macrumors 65816

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    #16
    If there was nothing else to consider, then this could very well be just a case of a disgruntled employee making trouble.

    But there are serious, unanswered, questions, and a whole lot of unusual activity involving Donald Trump.

    Let's start with this: Trump claims he "doesn't need banks". The only people who don't need banks are those who have massive amounts of cash to invest. And pretty much nothing in Donald Trump's business history adds up to massive amounts of cash. He seems to be more associated with losing hundreds of millions, rather than building the sort of businesses that regularly throw off tons of cash.

    And yet a few years ago his companies go on a buying spree. Of properties that specifically don't throw off lots of cash. Like a golf course. Which takes tens of millions to develop, and - at best - breaks even for years.

    Then we have Donald Trump Jr's 2008 statement:

    That, in and of itself, could very well be perfectly innocent. There certainly is nothing wrong with using the money put up by foreign investors to finance real estate development or any other legitimate business.

    But when the person taking that foreign investment happens to be the President of the United States; and the identity of the foreign investors is unknown but might be oligarchs associated with Vladimir Putin (and pretty much every Russian oligarch is, one way or another, associated with Vladimir Putin) - then I think the American people deserve to know a lot more than their President is telling them.
     

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15 May 19, 2019