Deutsche Bank has admitted criminal wrongdoing for taking part in fraudulent tax shelters and agreed to pay $553.6m to settle the case.

Under a nonprosecution agreement, the US Attorney’s Office has agreed to drop criminal investigations and not to prosecute the bank for its participation in about 15 tax shelters involving more than 2,100 customers between 1996 and 2002.

The bank also agreed to have an independent monitor in place to review its compliance and ethics program.

Bart Schwartz of Guidepost Solutions, a New York investigation firm headed by a former prosecutor, was named as monitor.
The German bank is banned from participating in any pre-packaged tax shelter product such as the ones it helped structure and sell.

The settlement includes a $149m civil penalty, the fees that Deutsche Bank generated from the shelters, and the taxes and penalties.

The bank said it has previously taken appropriate provisions for the full amount of the fine, so the payment will not have any impact on current net income.