Suspicious transactions between Jared Kushner and Russia in the summer of 2016 at precisely the same time Russia was embarking on a mission to get Donald Trump elected were not reported as suspicious to federal authorities by Deutsche Bank, according to a jaw-dropping New York Times report.
The story involves a whistleblower by the name of Tammy McFadden, a former anti-money laundering specialist at Deutsche Bank, who says she was fired for flagging the transactions as suspicious activity.
In the summer of 2016, Deutsche Bank’s software flagged a series of transactions between Kushner's company and Russia, according to the report.
Ms. McFadden, a longtime anti-money laundering specialist in Deutsche Bank’s Jacksonville office, said she had reviewed the transactions and found that money had moved from Kushner Companies to Russian individuals. She concluded that the transactions should be reported to the government — in part because federal regulators had ordered Deutsche Bank, which had been caught laundering billions of dollars for Russians, to toughen its scrutiny of potentially illegal transactions.
Oh, well then. What ELSE was happening in the summer of 2016, anyway? Hmmm, let's see. There was the hack of Hillary's emails, the attempts to hack voter databases, and the apparent success of some of those hacks, all by Russian state actors. While Kushner was busy transferring hunks of money to Russians. How conveeeenient.
So Tammy McFadden did what any good bank anti-money laundering employee would do: She compiled suspicious activity reports and documentation supporting her recommendation that they be filed with the feds.
Deutsche Bank had dollar signs in their mind, though, and sent her recommendations to the very people with the most interest in not reporting it for review:
Typically, such a report would be reviewed by a team of anti-money laundering experts who are independent of the business line in which the transactions originated — in this case, the private-banking division — according to Ms. McFadden and two former Deutsche Bank managers.
That did not happen with this report. It went to managers in New York who were part of the private bank, which caters to the ultrawealthy. They felt Ms. McFadden’s concerns were unfounded and opted not to submit the report to the government, the employees said.
Ms. McFadden and some of her colleagues said they believed the report had been killed to maintain the private-banking division’s strong relationship with Mr. Kushner.
Oh. Well then. Here's the thing: They didn't just bury Kushner's suspicious transactions with the hostile foreign country which was working very hard to help Trump steal the election. They buried Trump's too.
After Mr. Trump became president, transactions involving him and his companies were reviewed by an anti-financial crime team at the bank called the Special Investigations Unit. That team, based in Jacksonville, produced multiple suspicious activity reports involving different entities that Mr. Trump owned or controlled, according to three former Deutsche Bank employees who saw the reports in an internal computer system.
Some of those reports involved Mr. Trump’s limited liability companies. At least one was related to transactions involving the Donald J. Trump Foundation, two employees said.
Deutsche Bank ultimately chose not to file those suspicious activity reports with the Treasury Department, either, according to three former employees. They said it was unusual for the bank to reject a series of reports involving the same high-profile client.
Do you suppose that had anything to do with the fact that Deutsche Bank had heavy investments in Trump? After all, they loaned him millions when no one else would touch him or his six-times-bankrupt company with a ten-foot pole.
As for McFadden? She told her bosses that there were dozens of politically exposed clients of DeutscheBank's private banking division who should be scrutinized, but was told not to ask questions. When she took that complaint to human resources, she was told to quit asking questions. The bank then transferred her to another division and then terminated her employment in April 2018.
The bank told her that she was not processing enough transactions.
Ms. McFadden disputed that. She said her superiors had reduced the number of transactions she was assigned to review after she voiced her concerns. She and the two former managers said they perceived her termination as an act of retaliation.
This seems like something we, the people, deserve to know more about. Big money transfers to Russians at the same time Russians are acting to steal the election for Donald Trump seems like a really big deal that Congress should immediately investigate.