Deutsche Bank AG won an exemption from the Department of Labor that lets it continue to manage pension assets despite an admission of fraud by its newly acquired U.S. operation, the former Bankers Trust Corp.

In a Federal Register notice Tuesday, the Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration said Frankfurt-based Deutsche Bank and its affiliates can continue to manage large U.S. employee benefit plans.

Bankers Trust pleaded guilty in March to three felony counts of misappropriating $19.1 million of client funds in its custody operations in the mid-1990s.

Late Monday a federal judge in New York fined the bank $60 million.

The fine was negotiated as part of the March plea arrangement. Bankers Trust also agreed to pay a $3.5 million fine to New York State.

Without the exemption, Deutsche Bank could have been frozen out of a potentially lucrative business.

In a statement released late Monday, Deutsche Bank said, "We are pleased to have these proceedings behinds us."

Deutsche Bank closed its $9 billion purchase of Bankers Trust in June. Executives at the German bank have said compliance is among their top priorities.

In its request to the Department of Labor for the exemption, Deutsche Bank said 13 employees in the Bankers Trust securities processing and custody unit had resigned and another 27 had been disciplined.

Deutsche Bank has offered to appoint a "special master" to investigate the scandal further.

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