Chase Shut Down The Bank Accounts Of Some Porn Stars And Didn't Tell Them Why
Getty Images/ Ethan Miller
"We recently reviewed your account and determined that we will be closing it on May 11, 2014. Please accept our apologies for the inconvenience," a letter from the bank to porn star Teagan Presley posted on Perez Hilton's site reads.
"You may close your account before the date we provided. Your account agreement says that either of us may close your account at any time, without notice and without reason," the letter from Chase continued.
Some of those affected have expressed on Twitter that the reason their account was shutdown is because they work in the porn industry.
"The branch and telephone bankers said it was because of our industry but their executive branch said no it wasn't and categorically denied this," Presley's husband Joshua Lehman told us via email. Lehman also had his Chase account closed.
The Chase letter didn't cite a specific reason. It also didn't mention anything about pornography.
This is actually standard across the banking sector. There's no requirement by law that banks have to tell account holders why they're closing their account. In some cases, the banks are even obligated under the law not to disclose the reason why an account is being closed.
Also, there's no written rule saying that a porn star can't bank with Chase. Just because you're a porn star, it doesn't mean you'll get your account taken away either.
A spokesperson for JPMorgan Chase declined to comment on the matter.
Some media reports claimed that the accounts of hundreds of porn stars were shut down by Chase recently. Business Insider has learned that's not the case.
All of this came actually came to light last week on Twitter. Many of the adult film workers affected have hundreds of thousands of followers. Some stars have Tweeted that they're going to cancel their Chase accounts before they get cancelled.
On April 21, Teagan Presley (real name Ashley Erickson Lehman) Tweeted to her 187K followers that Chase was closing her personal account. She's had the account since she was 18. She said she uses it to buy groceries and pay for gymnastics for her kids.
Thank you for @Chase for closing my personal acct that Ive had since I was 18yrs old.I was w/ Washington mutual before you bought them out- Teagan Presley™ (@MsTeagan) April 21, 2014
@chase told me I was an infamous figure in the adult business&thats reason why they closed it.So infamous I pay my utilities&kids gym class- Teagan Presley™ (@MsTeagan) April 21, 2014
Presley's husband Joshua Lehman (@DirectorJoshua) also had his account closed.
He Tweeted at blogger Perez Hilton that hundreds of them got letters. Lehman provided us with a few names of people who've been affected, but it wasn't hundreds.
Adult film director David Lord got a letter from Chase earlier this month.
Porn star/ fetish model Veronica Avluv also had her account shuttered by Chase.
Violence gets much more acceptance than sex in this society- how many producers of horror flicks have accts at Chase no problem? Hmmm- Veronica Avluv™ (@VeronicaAvluvXX) April 22, 2014
Los Angeles-based porn star Layton Benton, the 22-year-old in "The Bomb Booty", told Page Six that she wants to take legal action against Chase for shutting down her account.
Stormy Daniels Tweeted that Chase cancelled her account a few years ago. She said her friends got theirs cancelled a couple weeks ago.
Male performer/director Keiran Lee said on Twitter his account was cancelled.
Kirsten Price Tweeted that Chase closed her account and had some choice words for the bank [NSFW].
Porn actress Bonnie Rotten Tweeted that she was closing her Chase account and moving it to Wells Fargo before they could close it on her.
@ohsoslider I closed my account before they close it on me- Bonnie Rotten® (@thebonnierotten) April 30, 2014
(If you work in the adult film industry and have had your bank account cancelled, feel free to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Also, below is a copy of the letter Teagan Presley received: