Deutsche Bank has opened an internal investigation into a top official there who has worked with the Kushners and Trumps for years. Specifically, they’re looking into a 2013 sale in which the bank’s Rosemary Vrablic co-purchased a Park Avenue apartment from a company that Jared Kushner and his wife, Ivanka Trump, have garnered some income from as recently as 2019, which the couple revealed in a financial disclosure that emerged recently. The New York Times notes that often, “banks restrict employees from doing personal business with clients because of the potential for conflicts between the employees’ interests and those of the bank,” and according to a source for the Times, Kushner held a financial stake in the company that sold Vrablic the apartment — Bergel 715 Associates — at the time of the sale.
The transaction in question took place in June 2013, when Vrablic and two of her colleagues purchased the apartment in question for about $1.5 million, according to the Times. Last year, Jared and Ivanka earned $1 million to $5 million from Bergel 715, although there’s no indication that their most recent income from the firm had anything to do with the sale to Vrablic all those years ago. Still, there’s an apparent potential that a Deutsche Bank employee could have affected bank policy to make it in line with their own presumed interests of being on good terms with an interest like the company that Kushner has a stake in.
Daniel Hunter, a spokesperson for Deutsche Bank, told the Times:
‘The bank will closely examine the information that came to light on Friday and the fact pattern from 2013.’
At the time of the purchase, Trump and Kushner were among Vrablic’s clients at the bank. As the Times explains, they “had received roughly $190 million in loans from the bank and would seek hundreds of millions of dollars more.” At one point, Trump even “sought a $1 billion commitment from Ms. Vrablic to buy the Buffalo Bills football team,” the Times explains, but that purchase did not end up going through. Trump’s former fixer Michael Cohen revealed in testimony to Congress that Trump apparently actually lied to Deutsche Bank about his net worth when attempting to secure that huge financial commitment. According to Cohen, Trump added about $4 billion onto his personal assessment of his net worth when negotiating with the bank.
Trump has praised Vrablic specifically. In 2016, he told the Times:
‘Why don’t you call the head of Deutsche Bank? Her name is Rosemary Vrablic. She is the boss.’
Vrablic is not actually the boss, although she is a prominent banker. Kushner, for his part, has been credited with introducing Vrablic to Trump, who faced closed doors at many other financial institutions because of his checkered financial history.
Testifying to the House Intelligence Committee in 2017, Kushner insisted:
‘I introduced him to this woman Rosemary. She is one of the biggest private wealth bankers, probably in the world. Amazing banker, amazing woman. Very smart banker. And she banked my family for a long time.’
Lately, Trump’s personal financial history has been in the spotlight amidst his refusals to release his tax returns, which have been subpoenaed by interests including the Manhattan-area district attorney.