Home Scandal and Gossip Why is Chase bank closing bank accounts of porn stars?

Why is Chase bank closing bank accounts of porn stars?

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Chase bank closing bank accounts of porn stars
Why has Chase bank closed the bank accounts of porn stars, including that of Leyton Benton?

The adult film industry is trying to make sense of JP Morgan Chase‘s decision to order the closure of hundreds of bank accounts registered to the names of individuals who work in the porn industry. To date the closures have elicited concern, confusion, outrage and accusations of prejudicial behavior at the hands of Chase bank.

Chase bank, a subsidiary of U.S. giant JP Morgan Chase, began sending out letters earlier this month to the entertainers, according to CNBC, informing them their accounts will cease on May 11.

The letter, which has been posted on social media by several of the industry names involved, says the shut down was a result of a ‘review’ and apologizes for any inconvenience, however gives no further explanation.

Pornographic actress Teagan Presley told adult industry blog XBiz News a Chase employee said the reason for the termination was because she was in the ‘adult business.’

‘I called them and they told me that because I am, I guess, public and am recognizable in the adult business, they’re closing my account,’ she told the site.

Presley said Chase also intend to close her husband’s account, and that they were told it would not be possible to open another with the bank.

The letter reiterates that the terms and conditions of a Chase account state that ‘either of us may close your account at any time, without notice and without a reason.’

Posted the actress on twitter: ‘Thank you for @Chase for closing my personal account that I’ve had since I was 18 years old. I was with Washington Mutual before you bought them out.

‘It’s just ridiculous cause I don’t do business with that account. I only pay my house bills with it. That’s why it’s personal.’

Chase bank closing bank accounts of porn stars
Cancelation letter as sent by Chase

The move has come as a surprise, given the adult entertainment industry generated close to $5 billion in revenue last year in the United States, according to Economy Watch.

Some have speculated that the Department of Justice triggered the clampdown as part of a targeted effort to shut down certain industries by preventing them access to banking services, which they have called Operation Choke Point.

In a Wall Street Journal op-ed, American Banking Association CEO Frank Keating wrote that the Justice Department is ‘telling 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.’

Which poses the question, if the Justice department is trying to get its way, why then aren’t other banks following suit, or is that something that will follow suit contingent on how well Chase’s position holds?

But it isn’t just the porn industry that the banks might be regulating.

In 2011, the FDIC listed 30 ‘merchant categories that have been associated with high-risk activity,’ likening pornography to Ponzi schemes, racist materials, “lifetime guarantees,” and sales of fireworks and tobacco.

Told  blogger Perez Hilton, who first published one of the Chase letters: ‘If it’s a legal job then discrimination shouldn’t be allowed. At all,’

Leyton Benton, also an industry name, told TMZ her account was shut earlier this month, April 11, and she found out only when her ATM was declined.

She was told that Chase found her at ‘risk’ and wouldn’t further elaborate.

Chase bank has not commented on the situation.

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