Investors from 19 different countries are seeking $475 million in damages from Danske Bank, which has been captured up in an enormous money laundering scandal.
Law firm Grant & Eisenhofer announced the suit as being connected to “one of the most egregious money laundering scandals in history.” The group is looking for $475 million in damages for financiers in 19 countries, saying various institutional investors, “including many of the world’s largest pension funds, suffered substantial losses at the hands of Danske Bank’s unchecked laundering of funds passing through its branch in Estonia.”
The Danske scandal includes some EUR230 billion passing through Danske Bank’s Estonian branch from Russia and other former Soviet states between 2007-2015, some of which may have constituted money laundering.
The claim states that Danske knew about the problem since 2013, but failed to take any action, deciding instead to continue to keep the issue concealed.
Olav Haazen, a lawyer with Grant & Eisenhofer who represents the investor group said, “Although the criminal laundering scheme flowed through the little Estonia branch, our lawsuit asserts that something was indeed rotten in the state of Denmark, namely that Danske Bank leadership failed to take any corrective action for nearly five years,” adding, “No one would have expected an elite, well-established European bank like Danske to be involved in money-laundering of any sort, let alone of the scale uncovered in this case — it’s one of the most egregious money laundering scandals in history.”
The bank’s stock price fell by half in 2018 as the scandal unraveled, leading to the replacement of its CEO and chairman.
At a shareholder conference on Monday in Copenhagen, a number of investors voiced concern about prospective lawsuits from financier groups.
Danske deals with claims on all fronts
Danske and four former high-level employees are currently facing a suit in New York filed in January by a U.S. pension fund. It accuses the bank of defrauding investors and inflating its share cost by concealing and failing to stop prevalent loan laundering.
Authorities in Denmark, Estonia, France, Great Britain, and the United States are examining the payments, consisting of in a criminal probe by the U.S. Department of Justice. Danske has said it has been cooperating with authorities.