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April 23, 2014

Deutsche Bank Bribery May Prompt Scrutiny, Lawyers Say

“A former Deutsche Bank (DBK) AG salesman’s admission in a Japanese court that he bribed a pension fund executive with lavish entertainment could attract the attention of prosecutors in other countries.”

“The U.S. Department of Justice and other authorities may examine whether the practice was widespread at the bank and led to any violations of bribery laws after Shigeru Echigo testified that he acted on the instructions and encouragement of his management, U.S. and U.K. lawyers not involved in the case said.

Prosecutors say the former salesman spent about 900,000 yen ($8,800) on meals and golf outings with former Mitsui & Co. employee Yutaka Tsurisawa 15 times from April to September 2012. Echigo admitted to the charges at the start of his trial in Tokyo yesterday.

“The worry for Deutsche Bank is that Echigo’s testimony could cause DOJ to take a hard look at the bank’s relationships with Japanese government officials to find out if the same things are taking place,” said Roger A. Burlingame, a former U.S. federal prosecutor now based in London at Kobre & Kim LLP.

Deutsche Bank, based in Frankfurt, is probably already having discussions about the case with prosecutors in other jurisdictions, said Neil Swift, a criminal defense lawyer at Peters & Peters Solicitors LLP in London. The U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and U.K. Bribery Act encourage companies to self-report potential violations and doing that can reduce any penalties.

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Read full Bloomberg article here.

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