The US government doesn’t want people in so-called “high-risk” industries to have access to the banking system.
This includes everyone from gun shop owners, to bitcoiners to marijuana dispensaries and even porn stars!
But what the Department of Justice is overlooking is the simple fact that people will turn to gold, silver and bitcoin instead of the banking system. Bitcoin does not discriminate.
Porn star Teagan Presley arrived to her Las Vegas home last week after an extensive strip club tour to find an unsettling letter from her bank. Chase was closing her account, and she had to get all funds out. The account was listed under her legal name. The bank also informed her her husband’s account would be closing.
Presley went to the bank to get to the bottom of this. She was told, like many bitcoiners have been told, that her bank account was considered “high risk.” Presley explains further:
“And then they told me that they canceled my husband’s account too, because our social security numbers are linked,” Presley told VICE News. “They told him that it was because I’m a notorious adult star. Which is funny, because I’m kind of a goody-goody in the business, and I’m not even doing porn anymore.” Presley is not alone. Many adult entertainers have experienced the same discrimination.
CNBC covered in 2013 how actress Chanel Preston had her bank account terminated at Los Angeles City National Bank, as well as porn studio head Marc Greenberg’s lawsuit against JP Morgan Chase for violation of fair lending laws. Greenberg wanted to refinance his longstanding home loan, but JP Morgan vice president told him he was being declined moral grounds.
A Chase representative had no comment for VICE News.
BITCOIN BUSINESSES ARE TARGETS
Bitcoin businesses have had their accounts shutdown by major banking institutions merely for their involvement in bitcoin. Banks which at one time marketed themselves as bitcoin friendly had to go back on that sentiment, and shut down bitcoin accounts, such as what happened to the Internet Credit Union.
Our recommendation to gun owners and bitcoin advocates is to get together now to transact all firearms transactions in bitcoin before the US government shuts down all retail firearm firms bank accounts.
MARIJUANA BUSINESSES TOO
Marijuana businesses have also been targeted. These small businesses have been forced in Washington and Colorado to deal in cash, a much riskier and expensive form of handling money than credit or even cheque for a business like a marijuana dispensary.
This has created dangerous obstacles for workers and owners, who must transport the cash they’ve been forced to handle. Sure, they might be saving out on certain fees, but sometimes, if you’re handling enough money, cash is not perfect. That is why bitcoin makes much sense for this industry as well.
PAYDAY LENDERS ALSO A TARGET
At a March hearing before a Senate Banking subcommittee, according to the Washington Post, Senator David Vitter (R-La.) said “there is a determined effort, from [the Justice Department] to the regulators… to cut off credit and use other tactics to force [payday lenders] out of business. I find that deeply troubling because it has no statutory basis, no statutory authority.”
Operation Choke Point represents targeted effort to shut down 30 separate industries by making it impossible for them to access the banking system.
American Banking Association CEO Frank Keating recently wrote that the Justice Department tells “bankers to behave like policemen and judges.”
“Operation Choke Point is asking banks to identify customers who may be breaking the law or simply doing something government officials don’t like,” Keating wrote. “Banks must then ‘choke off’ those customers’ access to financial services, shutting down their accounts.
If a bank doesn’t shut down a questionable account when directed to do so, Justice slaps the institution with a penalty for wrongdoing that may or may not have happened,” Keating wrote.
Bureaucrats are also dismayed by the behavior of the DoJ!
Former chairman of the FDIC, William Isaac, wrote in American Banker magazine last week that Operation Choke Point is “way out of control,” continuing that 23 bipartisan members of Congress authored a letter to the DOJ explicating that the operation is putting legal industries out of business…including banks!
The president of the Independent Community Bankers of America penned a letter to the Justice Department earlier this month, writing that Operation Chokepoint prevents small community banks from competing with the major chains.
The Justice Department did not respond to VICE News’ inquiry for comment.
GOLD, SILVER, BITCOIN
What such a precedent will do is push people into alternative forms of savings. Instead of dealing with nosey banks who can shut down your account at any time because of federal government pressure, people will feel more comfortable storing their savings, or at least much of it, in gold, silver and bitcoin. This is a trend that will quicken so long as the DoJ continues to target certain industries like it does via Operation Choke Point.