WASHINGTON (7/17/15)--The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) said this month its investigation into Operation Choke Point did not lead to lawful businesses being targeted.
The DOJ shared these findings with Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Mo.) in response to his request that the department look into the matter.
Operation Choke Point was introduced in 2013 as a DOJ initiative, allowing its Financial Fraud Task Force to investigate whether financial institutions and payment processing companies were enabling fraudulent activity. It came under fire after businesses and others claimed the initiative was separating consumers from access to financial services.
Luetkemeyer and more than 30 Republicans wrote to the DOJ and Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. last year requesting the investigation.
The DOJ found:
CUNA continues to monitor congressional concerns surrounding Operation Choke Point. CUNA supports the efforts of the government in fighting fraud and maintaining market integrity, but remains concerned that Operation Choke Point’s broad enforcement tactics could affect legal businesses and separate consumers and businesses from the financial system.
For a deeper look into the DOJ report and a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee report that led to Luetkemeyer’s request, see CUNA’s Removing Barriers blog.