Sources familiar with the details of the Deutsche money scandal say the United States Justice Department has intensified its investigation into the role the bank played in the more than $200 billion crime.
One aspect of the investigation seeks to determine whether Deutsche Bank aided the largest lender in Denmark, Danske, in efforts to move tainted money into America. If this allegation is proven truthful, Deutsche will face major penalties in America.
Officials working for the Justice Department have worked closely with Estonian officials for more than a year now. The investigation now includes state prosecutors in Frankfurt.
It is the first time the Justice Department has let it be known publicly that its investigation into the actions of Germany’s largest bank now includes Frankfurt state prosecutors.
Prosecutors in Frankfurt are exploring the role Deutsche played in payment processing for Danske.
A spokesman for Danske says the company is cooperating with authorities in Denmark, Estonia, France, and the United States. The bank also reports that it has tightened controls significantly.
Danske self-reported a year ago that more than 200 billion Euros moved through the bank from Russia and other parts of the world. The discrepancies took place at the Estonia branch of the bank and have led to investigations around the world.
Sources confirm the bulk of these questionable transactions were processed through Deutsche.
The Justice Department contacted Deutsche last year for information regarding the transactions. However, at the time it was assumed Danske was the only target of the investigation.
Deutsche officials learned in the last few months that the investigation also entails their role in facilitating the payments and the failure of the German bank to report suspicious activity in a timely manner.
The DOJ is already investigating Deutsche in a Russian money-laundering case involving $10 billion in “mirror trades.” To date, Deutsche has paid $700 million in fines levied against the company by regulators in New York and Britain.
Investigators in the United States have conducted interviews with former compliance staff for Deutsche Bank. The ex-staff members say they warned supervisors about suspect transactions but were ignored.
One source with information linked to the case says the Estonian investigations center around 10 transactions that total $2 billion.
Deutsche alerted a money-laundering authority in Germany to more than a million suspect money transfers ten months ago. The report came five years after the first whistleblower at Danske attempted to alert superiors. Investigators now want to know why the company took so long to come forward.