Deutsche Bank launches investigation into longtime banker of Trump, Kushner

Deutsche Bank launched an internal investigation into the longtime personal banker for President TrumpDonald John TrumpUS reimposes UN sanctions on Iran amid increasing tensions Jeff Flake: Republicans 'should hold the same position' on SCOTUS vacancy as 2016 Trump supporters chant 'Fill that seat' at North Carolina rally MORE and his son-in-law, Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerAbraham Accords: New hope for peace in Middle East Tenants in Kushner building file lawsuit alleging dangerous living conditions Trump hosts Israel, UAE, Bahrain for historic signing MORE, a bank spokesman confirmed to The Hill on Sunday.

The New York Times first reported Sunday that the bank was looking into Rosemary Vrablic to determine if she had acted improperly when she and two colleagues bought an apartment for about $1.5 million in 2013 from Bergel 715 Associates.

In a financial disclosure report filed Friday, Kushner and his wife, Ivanka TrumpIvana (Ivanka) Marie TrumpTrump, Biden vie for Minnesota Trump luxury properties have charged US government .1M since inauguration: report Ivana Trump: Ivanka could 'definitely' be first female president MORE, said they had received $1 million to $5 million from Bergel 715 in 2019. The couple had not previously reported having an ownership stake in the company. 

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A person familiar with Kushner’s finances told the Times he had an ownership stake in Bergel 715 at the time Vrablic bought the apartment. The 2019 reported income is unrelated to Vrablic’s purchase in 2013. 

The Times reported Deutsche Bank did not know Vrablic and her colleagues had bought the apartment from a company Kushner had a stake in until it was contacted by the newspaper.

“The bank will closely examine the information that came to light on Friday and the fact pattern from 2013,” bank spokesman Daniel Hunter said. 

Kushner and President Trump were clients of Vrablic at the time of the 2013 sale and had received about $190 million in loans from Deutsche Bank. Both were also granted hundreds of millions of dollars after that point, according to the Times.

Banks usually prohibit employees from conducting personal business with clients out of concerns of conflicts of interest. 

But Christopher Smith, the general counsel for Kushner Companies, told The Hill in a statement that “Kushner is not the managing partner of that entity and has no involvement with the sales of the apartments.”

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Vrablic’s lawyer, a senior private banker and managing director at Deutsche Bank, declined to comment to the Times.

It is unclear how big Kushner’s stake is in the company, which has sold several condo units in the apartment building since the 1980s, according to records viewed by the Times. At least one apartment had been sold to Kushner Companies. 

The Times noted that there is no evidence Vrablic and her colleagues purchased the apartment at a below-market price. The apartment was also sold at “a not-unheard-of 22 percent increase from the 2013 purchase price,” the newspaper reported.

Kushner testified during a 2017 closed-door House Intelligence Committee meeting that he introduced Vrablic to the president.

The president borrowed $175 million for his Doral golf resort and the Trump International Hotel & Tower in Chicago in 2012. The bank had also lent him money to create his Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., out of the Old Post Office building.