Deutsche Bank announced plans to investigate Rosemary Vrablic, an employee since 2006 and longtime bank advisor for Donald Trump and his son-in-law Jared Kushner, over a real estate purchase she made in 2013.
A company called Bergel 17 Associates sold Vrablic and two of her Deutsche Bank colleagues an apartment on Park Avenue for $1.5 million. Kushner was a stakeowner in Bergel 715 at the time, but The New York Times said Deutsche Bank did not know of the connection until the Times reported it to them. It would be odd, however, as business between bank employees and clients can contribute to conflicts of interest.
“Kushner is not the managing partner of that entity and has no involvement with the sales of the apartments,” general counsel for Kushner Companies Christopher Smith told The Hill.
On Friday, Kushner and Ivanka Trump released a financial disclosure indicating that Bergel 715 compensated Kushner with between $1 and $5 million in 2019. A spokesman for Kushner told The Times that, while Kushner did have a stake in Bergel 715 at the time of Vrablic's purchase, the 2019 income is unrelated to the earlier events.
“The bank will closely examine the information that came to light on Friday and the fact pattern from 2013,” bank spokesman Daniel Hunter said in a statement to The Times.
The Times could not determine the size of Kushner's investment in Bergel 715 and admitted that "there is no indication that the three Deutsche Bank employees bought the apartment...at a below-market price."
Both Deutsche Bank and the Kushner family have come under suspicion in the past. In 2016 and 2017, an anti-money laundering officer at the bank alleged irregularities in the Kushner Company's transaction activity, but Deutsche Bank declined to recognize her report. The FBI took up the case and has yet to issue a conclusion.
Meanwhile, the New York Department of Financial Services imposed a $150 million settlement earlier this against Deutsche Bank. It accused the firm of failing to intercept and stifle illicit transactions made by Jeffrey Epstein, who was arrested last year on federal sex trafficking charges.