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Deutsche Bank made headlines last week for axing a group of bankers who expensed a night at a strip club and lied about it — but spared the lone employee who ‘fessed up, The Post has learned.

As reported by The Post, the German financial giant launched an investigation after the bankers tried to expense a tab for a single evening’s debauchery that topped $1,000, according to sources.

The bankers had headed to Sapphire New York — an Upper East Side jiggle joint that also operates a steakhouse whose offerings include a $25 “body sushi” experience, where patrons can eat raw fish off an exotic dancer’s body, a source with knowledge said.

While three bankers who got fired had insisted that the fat tab was rung up at a steakhouse, insiders said a junior banker who had tagged along confessed that the staffers had actually headed to a strip club.

The underling “did in fact express contrition” for the ill-fated outing and was spared getting fired by his bosses, a person with knowledge told The Post.

Deutsche’s decision to keep the one truth-teller emphasizes the bank was concerned more about deception than anything else, people close to the bank said. Indeed, at least one of the bankers who got fired didn’t even attend the night out, according to a source.

“It really was about the coverup and the deception,” the source said. “The coverup was worse than the crime.”

strip club
Deutsche Bank fired four financiers for expensing a night at a strip club — then covering it up.
Getty Images/iStockphoto

In a statement to The Post, a spokesman said: “Deutsche Bank thoroughly investigates allegations of possible misconduct comprehensively and without bias. We do not condone violations of our Code of Conduct or Company Policy and take remedial action as appropriate based on the severity of circumstances. The Bank declines to comment further on the circumstances of this particular matter.”

According to its website, Sapphire caters to businesses and even offers a relatively affordable “corporate package,” which includes complimentary admission for five, a VIP table on the main floor and a $500 food and beverage credit. The total cost including tax is $683.04. (The cost of a lap dance couldn’t be determined, but visitors to the website are offered a freebie simply by signing up for Sapphire’s mailing list.)

The Post was unable to reach Sapphire or Primal Cut, the steakhouse listed at the same address as the Upper East Side strip club, which describes the eatery as “the ultimate upscale dining experience and the perfect pairing to Sapphire NY.”

The fired bankers didn’t just lose their jobs, but also lost millions in deferred compensation, people told The Post.

Deutsche Bank headquarters in Frankfurt
Deutsche Bank fired several top employees because they didn’t tell the truth about submitting an expense report for a strip club restaurant, sources told The Post.
Bloomberg via Getty Images

At Deutsche Bank, bonuses for top employees — typically a mix of stock and cash — are mostly deferred or vested several years, people with knowledge told The Post. The goal is to tie top employees to the long-term performance of the firm by holding onto some of their bonuses, people add. When a worker is fired for cause, he loses all the deferred compensation he has accrued.

For two of the fired bankers — head of equity capital markets Ben Darsney and the managing director who ran most of the bank’s SPAC business, Ravi Raghunathan — those bonuses were substantial.

Insiders speculate that Darsney and Raghunathan lost as much as $6 million given multiple years of deferral are combined, people with knowledge told The Post.

File photo of a strip club
The lone employee who told the truth about the strip-club expense didn’t get fired, a source familiar with the matter told The Post.
Getty Images

“It’s like a graduated tax table — the more you make, the more is deferred,” one person with knowledge told The Post. “For guys like Ravi and Ben, its likely 100% of their bonuses the last three to four years were deferred.” And over the last several years, bankers have gotten record bonuses among a flurry of deals.

Losing all the deferred compensation, however, could actually make it easier for them to find jobs elsewhere, a source told The Post. If a competitor wants to hire a banker from another firm, the bank has to offer a competitive salary and pay out the banker’s deferred compensation.

Given Darsney and Raghunathan’s popularity with clients, people close to the men think they will land on their feet.

“The speculation is they’ll all have ended up somewhere by July 4,” a person told The Post.

Source: NYPOST

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