‘Choke Point’ Gets Choked Off

By Woody published on in News

In a major development concerning discrimination in how financial services and products were withheld from firearms-related businesses due toOperation Choke Point,” the top officials of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) have admitted wrongdoing and said they would cease such practices.FDIC Logo and Tagline

Participating in Operation Choke Point, which was spearheaded by the Department of Justice, the FDIC had classified some industries as high risk: Cable Box De-scramblers, Credit Repair Services, Dating Services, Drug Paraphernalia, Escort Services, Ponzi Schemes, Pornography, and Racist Materials, to name a few. Included in this group were “Ammunition Sales” and “Firearms Sales.”

U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Mo.) released a statement after a meeting with Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Chairman Martin Gruenberg and Vice Chairman Tom Hoenig discussing the agency’s involvement in Operation Choke Point.

“Today is a turning point in the fight against Operation Choke Point. This morning, I met with Chairman Gruenberg and Vice Chairman Hoenig to discuss the FDIC’s activity with Operation Choke Point. Not only did the Chairman and the Vice Chairman acknowledge wrongdoing within the organization, but they have accepted many of the policies put forth in my legislation, the Financial Institution Customer Protection Act.

“I’m pleased that FDIC is implementing these important changes without delay. I’m also pleased that the Chairman and Vice Chairman have joined me in calling on the FDIC Inspector General to conduct a formal investigation of the program and any staff who have played or may have played a role in the program. The bottom line is the FDIC knows the culture at the agency must be changed and I will continue to monitor to make sure the agency sticks to its word.

“I fully intend on reintroducing my legislation because we must ensure these changes will be codified into law, that the Department of Justice ends its misuse of authority, and that other agencies don’t ever fall into this illegal and abusive practice.”

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Comments (9)

  • StillClinging

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    I worked for Wells Fargo up until about 6 months ago in the Business Banking Group. I can say Chokepoint did directly influence the way banks saw their customers. In essence the bank was told that customers in the above mentioned businesses were extremely high risk and that great caution should be taken in keeping the relationships. Typically no reasoning was given to support why the businesses should be considered risky, only an unspoken/unwritten understanding that these customers brought much higher liability and likelihood of in depth inspection/audits. Basically it wasn’t illegal to keep the customers, but it didn’t make very good business sense. While I don’t agree with the things that went on I understand the need to protect the financial strength of the business. That all having been said, this is a major win for those of us who still value our freedoms. Thanks CTD for spreading the word!

    Reply

  • charlie

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    I understand that banks were coerced by threats into working with the feds against legit businesses that the administration wished to stomp on. I imagine bank officials felt cornered and had to go along to get along. Who would the banks complain to? The feds? Yeah, that would work. Not.

    Reply

  • Keith

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    I would like to know who, in my community of Grand Rapids MI, was implementing this outrage. I wouldn’t want to take one of these banks or credit unions my business.

    Reply

    • Keith

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      I found some of the offending banks online: Capital One and Fifth Third, Bank of America, PNC Financial Services Group, Wells Fargo, Chase and U.S. Bancorp.

      Reply

    • Mc Ruger

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      I AGREE. The name of all participating banks should be published and we should not be doing business with them.

      Reply

  • Mc Ruger

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    Most corrupt administration in our history without question.

    Reply

  • Gringo Cracker

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    Sunlight is indeed the best disinfectant, but even public exposure of this gross example of official malfeasance is unlikely to deter these Obamaoists from carrying on sub rosa. Despite all the mea culpas and promises to behave from IRS officials, they continue to harass and obstruct grassroots tea-party groups seeking tax-exempt status. Please pardon my pessimism, but I see no reason to expect FDIC or any other agency under this lawless executive branch to behave any differently. Kudos to bloggers and activists in the gun-rights community, Fox News, Rep. Luetkemeyer, etc., for holding these thugs to account, but this victory is just one battle, not the war.

    Reply

  • Mike in Flag

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    Oh, well then, how sweet. So who’s going to prison for this outrage?

    Reply

    • Mike

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      Exactly! I’m gonna bet my money on……. “no one”. :(

      Reply

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