Valentin Broeksmit, a whistleblower who reportedly aided a federal investigation into Deutsche Bank’s dealings with Donald Trump, was found dead in Los Angeles, California, local CBS station KCBS-TV reported Wednesday.
According to the report, Broeksmit was found by a cleaning crew Monday morning on the campus of Woodrow Wilson High School in Los Angeles.
The 25-year-old film producer was last seen in April 2021, according to the station. However, his Twitter account remained active and friends and journalists said they had remained in contact with him until his death.
New York Times reporter David Enrich reacted to the report saying: “This is terrible news. Val was a longtime source of mine and the main character in my book. We had a complicated relationship, but this is just devastating to hear.”
Investigative journalist Scott Stedman, of Forensic News, said he was saddened by the news, but added that he does not suspect “foul play,” citing Broeksmit’s drug use.
As noted by KCBS-TV, Broeksmit helped the FBI investigate Deutsche Bank, where his stepfather had worked, and offered hundreds of documents to federal investigators and journalists looking for ties between the financial institution and former president Donald Trump. The New York Times described him in a 2019 profile as an “unemployed rock musician with a history of opioid abuse and credit card theft” and a “dalliance with North Korea-linked hackers.”
Stedman said Broeksmit, whose father’s 2014 suicide haunted him, had given him documents that showed Deutsche Bank’s “deep Russia connections.”
Profiled in 2019, the Times wrote: “Here’s the thing about whistle-blowers: They tend to be flawed messengers. Daniel Ellsberg, Chelsea Manning, Edward Snowden — each of them was dismissed as selfish, damaged, reckless and crazy. Yet all of them, regardless of motivation, used secret documents to change the course of history.”
Read it at KCBS-TV News.