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Congress launching hearings on 'Operation Choke Point'

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posted on Mar, 24 2015 @ 11:51 AM
Congress is starting to look into the controversial Executive Branch program call Operation Choke point.

OCP is a Department of Justice "initiative" supposedly targeting banks that somehow fuel money laundering.

But since the inception a couple of years ago, it seems the Obama Administration has taken this deep into abusive territory.

Looks like they've been targeting specific business that don't really do anything illegal.

Probably just a wild escapade by extreme micro-managers inside the current government.

Hard to pinpoint the "point".

Sounds like another "Pre-Legislation" "Socially Correct" Authoritarian Progressive wish list to me.

Congress launching hearings on complaints businesses targeted by 'Operation Choke Point'

A controversial federal law enforcement program that critics say targeted businesses the Obama administration didn't like is about to face a new wave of congressional scrutiny, with Capitol Hill hearings set to begin Tuesday.

Under the program, called Operation Choke Point, banks and other financial institutions were reportedly pressured to cut off accounts for targeted businesses. This included gun stores, casinos, tobacco distributors, short-term lenders and other businesses.

Critics claim the program -- overseen by the Justice Department, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and other agencies -- was used to squeeze legal companies that some politicians considered morally objectionable.

background on Choke Point

Choke & Gag

Operation Choke Point is an initiative of the United States Department of Justice that was announced in 2013, which is investigating banks in the United States and the business they do with payment processors, payday lenders, and other companies believed to be at higher risk for fraud and money laundering.

This operation, first disclosed in August 2013 Wall Street Journal story has been criticized for bypassing due process; the government is pressuring the financial industry to cut off the companies' access to banking services, without first having shown that the targeted companies are violating the law. As reported by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, critics believe "it's a thinly veiled ideological attack on industries the Obama administration doesn't like, such as gun sellers and coal producers."

The operation itself is now under investigation by two federal agencies.

posted on Mar, 24 2015 @ 12:00 PM
It is targeting banks that launder money especially for scam industries online, including:

Ammunition Sales
Cable Box De-scramblers
Coin Dealers
Credit Card Schemes
Credit Repair Services
Dating Services
Debt Consolidation Scams
Drug Paraphernalia
Escort Services
Firearms Sales
Fireworks Sales
Get Rich Products
Government Grants
Home-Based Charities
Life-Time Guarantees
Life-Time Memberships
Lottery Sales
Mailing Lists/Personal Info
Money Transfer Networks
On-line Gambling
Payday Loans
Pharmaceutical Sales
Ponzi Schemes
Pyramid-Type Sales
Racist Materials
Surveillance Equipment
Tobacco Sales
Travel Clubs

In short, a lot of scum bag consumer ripoffs - not all, but a good many.

Is that good or bad? My mother got swindled by a mortgage lender that was eventually prosecuted for money laundering. The bank failed to implement even the weakest anti-fraud tools at their disposal. Personally, the US needs to drastically upgrade their prosecutorial tools to make going after this class of thief easier.

posted on Mar, 24 2015 @ 12:13 PM
I wonder how successful this program is?

Or did it produce a 99% failure rate as usual.

posted on Mar, 24 2015 @ 12:20 PM
a reply to: xuenchen

As opposed to doing what? Nothing? Allow a criminal cabal of bankers to run amok with no threat of repercussions for rampant fraud and abuse taking place in the banks?

Some businesses are natural havens for money launderers. It sucks for the honest laundry mat owner that their industry is a haven for money launderers, and often get extra scrutiny from the IRS over it. Same with most of those on that list above.

My mother got taken in by a mortgage fraud, perpetrated by a big bank. It's effing unreal how hard it is to take the bigger cabals of criminals to court, as they know the loopholes. It's fraud on an institutional level. For that reason, I applaud operations that target known fraud circles. It's how we rid ourselves of the robber-barons of the past.

posted on Mar, 24 2015 @ 12:27 PM
a reply to: Macabe

But why go after scams at this level?

If they know about illegal activity, why not just take legal action ahead of time?

What's the point of taking down legal businesses?

It must be something Obama has hidden.

posted on Mar, 24 2015 @ 12:44 PM
a reply to: xuenchen

They're not taking down legal businesses. They (the DoJ) are requesting information from the banks about merchants on the list of "high risk" businesses. The banks are the ones that are deciding that instead of responding to those requests (and submitting paperwork) they would just rather close those accounts and not deal with it at all.

The banks are just being dicks. It costs money to comply with a request from the DoJ. So they take the easy road, and nix all accounts associated with those businesses.

Go online and look up banks that deal with "high risk" merchant accounts, there's a few of them out there. They accept businesses like viagra sales, online ammo sales, payday lenders, and so on. Most banks will steer away from those types of merchants, and now with the DoJ looking at them for high-risk of money laundering, that will go double. But there are still a few that will accept those types of businesses.

posted on Mar, 24 2015 @ 02:24 PM
That second link.

Shut down the local firearm shops- make it so only big suppliers (walmart, cabelas, etc) can sell guns, driving all the smaller places out of business. Then simply make it so the big places can't sell them with some other crazy law.

It's all a game, and we're on the losing side.

posted on Mar, 24 2015 @ 02:30 PM
a reply to: xuenchen

It's like you don't even read the explanations. It must be fun just trolling rather than looking for actual information.

Basically what's happening is that under this program the banks would rather shut down accounts than comply with the DoJ. Essentially, the banks are saying they know that what's happening is likely illegal and rather than let the government obtain that proof they'll just stop service so that the government has no reason to continue the investigation. Then a new business that the DoJ doesn't yet know about can be started.

posted on Mar, 24 2015 @ 05:22 PM
Oh geez i cant wait for congress to waste more money so they can finnaly prove that both sides use the same tactics

posted on Mar, 24 2015 @ 06:03 PM

originally posted by: xuenchen
a reply to: Macabe

But why go after scams at this level?

If they know about illegal activity, why not just take legal action ahead of time?

What's the point of taking down legal businesses?

It must be something Obama has hidden.

Feeders usually work for bigger fish. Can be quite a few useless middlemen in the brew, why waist resources going after them.

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