The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) is conducting a criminal investigation of possible money laundering violations by Deutsche Bank, and the New York Times is reporting that the probe will include taking a look at some 2016 transactions involving Kushner Cos. — the business owned by the family of Senior White House Advisor Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump’s son-in-law.
In banking, reports of possibly suspicious activity are known as “suspicious activity reports,” and the DOJ is investigating why Deutsche Bank prepared such alerts for activity involving Kushner Cos. but did not file them. A key figure in the DOJ’s investigation is whistleblower Tammy McFadden, who helped prepare suspicious activity reports for Kushner Cos.-related transactions. McFadden is a former compliance officer for Deutsche Bank.
In May, McFadden told the New York Times that although she had flagged transactions involving Kushner Cos. in 2016, bank managers decided not to file the suspicious activity report that she prepared.
A Kushner Cos. spokesperson told the Times that the company itself is not under investigation, and a Deutsche Bank representative said that it is cooperating in the DOJ’s money laundering investigation and is taking steps to improve its anti-money laundering systems.
The DOJ’s probe of Deutsche Bank for possible money laundering, according to the Times, started with an inquiry into the bank’s dealings with Russia money launderers and expanded from there. In addition to interviewing McFadden, the FBI has spoken to Val Broeksmit — son of the late Deutsche Bank executive William S. Broeksmit.
Kushner Cos., a real estate development firm, was founded by Jared Kushner’s father, Charles Kushner, in 1985. Charles Kushner was convicted of multiple criminal charges, including tax evasion and witness tampering, in 2005 and spent 14 months in federal prison.