Gratitude America, Jeffrey Epstein’s shadowy private charity, operated through an account at Deutsche Bank AG, The Wall Street Journal reports. The German multinational, which has drawn red flags from regulators for its ties to Russian oligarchs and Chinese government officials as well as President Trump, is under investigation by the FBI, Justice Department, and two U.S. attorney’s offices over questions about its compliance with anti-money-laundering laws. The existence of Gratitude America, whose official mission was to “support the expression of gratitude for the ideals of America,” was first reported by The Daily Beast last month. Among its philanthropic work, Epstein’s charity funded an all-girls school in Manhattan and youth tennis program. That charitable giving, however, appears to have been designed to generate tax benefits for the billionaire, the Journal reports.
Epstein was reportedly a member of an elite group that gave him access to loans, trading desks and investment opportunities at Deutsche Bank, people familiar with the matter reportedly told the Journal. Some of the Gratitude America’s beneficiaries now say they never received any money, despite the fact that the charity reported to have donated more $1.8 million in 2016 and 2017 combined. Deutsche said it is closely examining its business relationship with the late financier and is cooperating with authorities.