Gunman Attacks House of Judge Assigned to Deutsche Bank Jeffrey Epstein Case
Esther Salas’s son was killed and her husband injured four days after she was assigned the case of a lawsuit shareholders launched due to Deutsche Bank’s role in Epstein’s finances
Five days ago, US District Court of New Jersey Judge Esther Salas was assigned a case against Deutsche Bank alleging the German bank misled investors about their anti-money laundering techniques and failed to monitor high-risk clients, such as Jeffrey Epstein, American financier and convicted sex offender.
On Sunday, a gunman dressed as a FedEx deliveryman killed Salas’s 20-year-old son and injured her husband at their New Jersey home. Esther Salas was unharmed during the attack, and her husband is in critical condition.
The FBI said it is investigating the case, but law enforcement is yet to link the shooting with the Deutsche Bank lawsuit. According to CNN, law enforcement is unaware of any threats against Judge Salas.
Two weeks ago, Deutsche Bank settled with the New York Department of Financial Services for $150 million after they announced the bank disregarded red flags related to Epstein’s account after he became a customer in 2013.
Epstein served 13 months under house arrest after receiving a plea deal in 2008 for soliciting two prostitutes under the age of 18. Miami Herald investigative reporter Julie K. Brown described the plea deal, handed out by former Secretary of Labor under President Trump, as ‘the deal of a lifetime’.
Epstein was found dead last year in his cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center before he was tried for new sex trafficking charges. Epstein’s confidant Ghislaine Maxwell was arrested three weeks ago and charged with a variety of crimes, including sex trafficking minors, related to Epstein’s vast network.
Deutsche Bank’s Troubling Recent History
Deutsche Bank has been under fire in recent years for lax rules regarding money laundering, and according to some former employees a blind eye to suspicious transactions out of the White House.
In 2019, multiple Deutsche Bank employees told The New York Times the bank’s executives failed to act on warnings from anti-money laundering specialists of suspicious activities to accounts involving the now-defunct Trump foundation and accounts linked to the President’s son-in-law Jared Kushner.
“You present them with everything, and you give them a recommendation, and nothing happens,” Tammy McFadden, a former Deutsche Bank anti-money laundering specialist told The Times. “It’s the D.B. way. They are prone to discounting everything.”
While suspicion from a bank employee does not prove wrongdoing, Deutsche Bank had problems with accounts deemed as red flags, such as Epstein’s, demonstrated by the $150 million settlement.
The Deutsche Bank case was the first to implicate a financial institution with wrongdoing related to decades of Epstein’s activity in finance. Multiple employees raised concerns about the bank’s relationship with the disgraced American financier, but executives routinely ignored their concerns.
Judge Salas was set to precede over the lawsuit lodged by Deutsche Bank investors against the bank and its CEO Christian Sewing. The investors argue that Deutsche Bank’s lack of protection against suspicious financial activity lost them money.
The $150 million settlement paid by Deutsche Bank will likely be passed on to investors and shareholders. In a press release, the law firm behind the suit cited multiple dips in the bank’s stock price after the US Federal Reserve criticized the German bank publicly.
Deutsche Bank has paid more than $9 billion in fines for different financial crimes it has admitted to. In this case, the bank’s admission of a “critical mistake” and the resulting negative attention triggered a suit from investors.
The assignment of the Deutsche Bank Epstein suit to Salas has triggered widespread speculation after the federal judge’s home was attacked. But investigators and public officials have refrained from speculation and instead focused on wishing well to the judge and her family.
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy tweeted, “Judge Salas and her family are in our thoughts at this time as they cope with this senseless act.