The Obama administration shut off the bank accounts of an Indian tribe as part of its Operation Choke Point program, The Daily Caller has learned.
The Otoe-Missouria tribe of Red Rock, Oklahoma reported that it is the latest victim of Operation Choke Point, according to a whistleblower response the tribe sent to the U.S. Consumer Coalition, which was obtained by TheDC.
“Operation Choke Point has negatively impacted our businesses in several key ways, which unfortunately limits our ability to provide services for our people and the surrounding community,” said John Shotton, chairman of the Otoe-Missouria tribe.
“We have had two banks close our bank accounts; US Bank earlier this year, and more recently Missouri Bank & Trust,” Shotton said.
As the administration targets payday lenders, Shotton has turned up on its radar. Shotton was recently fined by the state of Connecticut for allegedly violating interest rate caps in operating the two payday-lending businesses that he owns. The Otoe-Missouria is one of a number of tribes getting into payday lending to generate revenue. Shotton said that his payday lending business adheres to all regulations under tribal sovereign rights. Operation Choke Point went after the tribe.
Operation Choke Point is a partnership between the Department of Justice and an array of federal agencies including the Treasury Department and the SEC to freeze the bank accounts of supposedly fraudulent businesses. But a recent House Judiciary Committee hearing probed widespread allegations that the program is targeting political opponents of the administration. Operation Choke Point recently caused the improper cutoff of numerous gun dealers’ bank accounts.
When The Daily Caller phoned the Otoe-Missouria tribe in Red Rock, an operator’s recording explained that, “The travel complex is currently without water and will be closing at noon on this Wednesday January fourteenth.”