Deutsche Bank’s $75 Million Settlement with Epstein Accusers Delayed by U.S. Judge

NEW YORK – A federal judge in Manhattan has deferred the approval of Deutsche Bank AG’s $75 million settlement with women who alleged sexual abuse by Jeffrey Epstein and accused the German bank of facilitating the late financier’s sex trafficking. U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff, during a hearing on Thursday to consider preliminary approval of the settlement, expressed the need for more specific details about the individuals eligible to be part of the proposed class of Epstein victims.

Judge Rakoff emphasized the importance of ensuring that individuals without legal expertise can easily determine their eligibility for inclusion in the settlement. Raising a rhetorical question, he asked, “If I had consensual sex with Jeffrey Epstein when I was a minor, am I covered?” The judge conveyed his disappointment with the notice and proposed order, urging the attorneys to promptly submit a revised settlement by June 12 to address these concerns.

Following the hearing, David Boies, a lawyer representing Epstein’s accusers, acknowledged the necessity of making the settlement clearer. A spokesperson for Deutsche Bank declined to comment on the matter.

Jeffrey Epstein, a former client of Deutsche Bank from 2013 to 2018, pleaded guilty in 2008 to a Florida prostitution charge and registered as a sex offender. Epstein died in August 2019 at the age of 66 while awaiting trial for sex trafficking in a Manhattan jail, with the city’s medical examiner ruling his death a suicide.

The lawsuit, filed in November, is spearheaded by a woman identified as Jane Doe 1, who alleged that Epstein sexually abused her between 2003 and 2018. Jane Doe 1 accused Deutsche Bank of failing to notice warning signs in Epstein’s accounts indicating illicit activities.

During the hearing, Judge Rakoff also expressed concerns about the proposed fees for the plaintiffs’ attorneys, which could reach up to 30% of the settlement amount. The same legal team is representing Epstein’s accusers in a separate lawsuit against JPMorgan Chase & Co, where Epstein was a client from 1998 to 2013 when he was terminated. JPMorgan has denied any liability and asserted that it would have severed ties with Epstein earlier if it had been aware of his alleged sex trafficking activities.

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