The Obama administration’s Operation Choke Point program targets gun and ammunition dealers and tries to make life “miserable” for businesses that it doesn’t like, a payment processor told a Choke Point victim in jarring new audio.
Operation Choke Point is a program by which the Department of Justice works with other administration agencies, including the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, to force banks to shut down accounts of businesses that it objects to. The program purports to fight fraudulent businesses, but has instead targeted many gun and ammunition dealers and other lawful businesses.
Audio obtained by the US Consumer Coalition and provided to The Daily Caller presents the latest disturbing example of Choke Point’s overreach. The audio, presented above, captures a conversation between Alex Bacon, president of the ETF Network payment processor, and Brennan Appel, owner of the Global Hookah Distributors tobacco-products company.
Appel’s hookah company had its bank account shut down by Bank of America. Bacon, Appel’s payment processor, explained that Operation Choke Point unilaterally targets certain kinds of businesses and makes business owners’ lives “miserable.”
“Have you heard of a little thing called Choke Point? You know, and the CFPB?” Bacon asked Appel. “They’re taking aim at industries like you and others to eliminate you from business by choking off your payment processing.”
“Well, they’re doing it by fiat. They’re doing it without a legislative process. They’re just doing it on a rather, you know, directed basis of their own free will,” Bacon said.
“They’re going after clinics, they’re going after collection agencies, they’re going after guns dealers, ammunition dealers, payment processors,” Bacon continued.
“We’re going to make your life miserable. Instead of auditing you once a year we’re going to audit you four times a year,” Bacon said, taking the voice of an Operation Choke Point investigator. “If we find anything negative we’re going to write it up and then you’re going to incur increased cost increased focus with your board of directors and from other banking regulators. And they all run scared because they’re all sheep.”