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FBI investigating Deutsche Bank for money laundering, Kushner transactions

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Federal authorities are launching a criminal probe into whether Deutsche Bank failed to properly comply with anti-money laundering regulations, The New York Times reported Wednesday.

Citing seven sources familiar with the matter, The Times said that federal prosecutors from multiple jurisdictions and the FBI are specifically investigating how Deutsche Bank dealt with internal suspicious activity reports regarding possible money laundering, including transactions linked to White House adviser Jared Kushner.

Last month, a whistleblower named Tammy McFadden who worked in the bank’s anti-money laundering division told The Times that she flagged a series of suspicious money transfers between Kushner Companies and Russian individuals at the height of the 2016 US presidential election.

When McFadden discovered the transfers from Kushner Companies to the Russians, she concluded they should be reported to the US government. Usually, a report like McFadden’s would be reviewed by a team of anti-money laundering experts who work separately from the private-banking division, McFadden and two other former Deutsche Bank managers told The Times.

Read more: Kushner Companies and Russian individuals exchanged suspicious money transfers at the height of the 2016 race, ex-Deutsche Bank employee says

But in this case, McFadden and her lawyer said the report went to managers in New York who were part of the private-banking division. They reportedly decided McFadden’s concerns were unfounded and decided not to submit the report to the Treasury Department’s financial crimes unit. As The Times noted, there is no evidence that Kushner himself or Kushner Companies is under investigation.

The Times also reported that other former members of Deutsche Bank’s anti-money laundering division had prepared separate suspicious activity reports in 2017 concerning transactions between the bank and President Donald Trump’s former charity, which the New York Attorney General’s office shut down last year, that were also not sent to the Treasury Department.

The reported federal criminal probe comes as the New York Attorney General’s office and the House Financial Services Committee are conducting active investigations into the bank’s close relationship with the Trump family, including issuing subpoenas. For decades, Deutsche Bank lent money to Trump and his real-estate development projects when other banks refused due to his checkered history in the real estate business.

Read more: Trump Organization and Trump family sue Deutsche Bank to prevent it from complying with congressional subpoenas

In late April, the Trump family trust and the Trump Organization sued Deutsche and Capital One banks to block a subpoena from the Financial Services Committee, arguing the subpoenas “have no legitimate or lawful purpose” and were issued to “harass” Trump and “to rummage through every aspect of his personal finances, his businesses, and the private information of the President and his family.”

A federal judge did not grant the Trump family’s request to block the subpoena, a decision the Trump family trust and Organization are now appealing.

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