Danske Bank Facing US$1 Billion Money Laundering Suit
Plaintiffs are seeking over US$1 billion in an international lawsuit against a Danish bank accused of facilitating rampant money laundering over the course of almost a decade.
DRRT.Klar Advokater, a Danish law firm that alongside U.S. outfits Grant & Eisenhofer and DRRT is pursuing the civil action, on Tuesday submitted a final set of complaints from pension funds and other investors adversely affected by lax regulatory controls at disgraced Danske Bank, according to a statement from
The latest filings bring the overall damages, sought by a total of 331 investors, up to more than 7.1 billion Danish crowns (US$1.12 billion).
Alexander Reus, managing partner at DRRT, said that the financial institution had been all but complicit in the money laundering scandal, which allowed no less than US$230 billion in potentially illicit cash to be funnelled through accounts held by clients at its Estonian branch between 2007 and 2015.
“Danske Bank’s efforts to conceal and misrepresent the true nature of its internal scheme of facilitating and promoting high-profit money laundering services” makes the scandal “one of the most significant money laundering and corporate violation cases in European history,” he said.
It will not be the bank’s only day in court. A slew of other lawsuits are currently in the works, including one brought by more than 70 legal entities representing 155 institutional investors and led by the pan-European consultancy firm Deminor.
Winner of OCCRP’s 2018 title for Actor of the Year in Organised Crime and Corruption, Danske Bank has been the subject of several previous OCCRP investigations, including into how the financial institution played host to a slush fund for Azerbaijani elites accused of human-rights abuses, as well as its role in the notorious Russian Laundromat scandal.
In the wake of revelations contained in those reports, the U.S. Justice Department has undertaken a wide-ranging probe into illicit financial activity at the bank - one which senior executives have since conceded may not leave Denmark’s largest lender “in a position to contest a lot,” according to Bloomberg.
A spokesperson for Danske Bank nevertheless told OCCRP on Wednesday that "we will defend ourselves against any claims that may arise and consider any development in cooperation with our lawyers."