Regulators May Punish Deutsche Bank for Its Jeffrey Epstein Ties

The attorney general for the United States Virgin Islands, Denise George, subpoenaed years of records from First Bank, a Puerto Rico-based lender that had provided banking services to Mr. Epstein for nearly two decades, according two people briefed on that investigation but not authorized to speak publicly. In January, Ms. George’s office filed a civil forfeiture lawsuit against Mr. Epstein’s estate, in which she contends that Mr. Epstein misled government officials there for nearly two decades and used a private island hideaway to engage in sex trafficking.

Ms. George is also looking into millions of dollars of transactions conducted last year — both before and after Mr. Epstein’s death — at a little-known bank that he had established in the Virgin Islands called Southern Country International.

And bank regulators in Britain are looking into whether James E. Staley was transparent about the details of his relationship with Mr. Epstein when describing it to officials at Barclays, where Mr. Staley became chief executive in 2015. Barclays has stood behind Mr. Staley, who has said he had no contact with Mr. Epstein after 2015.

Before joining Barclays, Mr. Staley was a senior executive at JPMorgan Chase, where he helped cultivate that bank’s relationship with Mr. Epstein.

JPMorgan was Mr. Epstein’s primary bank for more than a decade, but some bank officials became uneasy about doing business with him after his 2008 guilty plea to soliciting prostitution from a minor in Florida. JPMorgan cut ties with Mr. Epstein after Mr. Staley left the bank in 2013.

That is when Mr. Epstein began working with Deutsche Bank. Paul Morris, a private banker who had recently arrived at the German bank from JPMorgan, brought Mr. Epstein on as a client, according to two of the people briefed on the matter. Mr. Morris, who left Deutsche Bank for another firm in 2016, did not respond to requests for comment.

The investigation could provide a rare glimpse into Mr. Epstein’s mysterious finances.

Mr. Epstein made a significant portion of his fortune while banking with Deutsche Bank, even though his criminal record had cost him his most lucrative client, Leslie Wexner, the billionaire retail magnate who built Victoria’s Secret into a household name. Mr. Wexner gave Mr. Epstein a sweeping power of attorney to manage all aspects of his financial affairs, but said he severed all ties with Mr. Epstein shortly before his guilty plea.

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