CFPB Weaponized Fines and Fabricated Evidence, Whistleblower Claims

The House passed a bill to deweaponize the CFPB, but now we're seeing how far they overreached during the Obama years.

Monday, Congress started the process of forever deweaponizing overzealous persecutors and progressive moral prescribers at the CFPB. It’s none too soon.

The Financial Institution Customer Protection Act stops the CFPB or any federal agency from demanding that a bank close customer accounts unless (1) the agency has a material reason for doing so, and (2) that reason is not based solely on reputation risk.

So-called “reputation risk” is the reasoning behind Barack Obama’s Operation Choke Point, which targeted payday lenders (among other businesses). The moral busybodies like Leandra English (who foolishly tried to sue her way into an appointment only the president can make, and cowed liberal media into being her cheering section) went after these companies with a vengeance, apparently even to the point of falsifying evidence.

The Free Beacon reported Tuesday that Cassandra Jackson, a former CFPB examiner has sought whistleblower status in a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Jackson said she was asked to remove document evidence proving Ace Cash Express was complying with CFPB rules and to write a report including findings she knew to be "false and fabricated."

She claims she was told to falsify a report that Ace was not in compliance with CFPB guidelines, which would allow the agency to levy fines.

Jackson refused to follow management's orders and said she was retaliated against for not falsifying the report. Managers then "proceeded to modify the report" and used it to "garner" a $10 million settlement with the company, even though Jackson said her report "did not find significant violations by the lender."

After her refusal, Jackson said she was subjected to disciplinary action and ultimately forced out of the agency due to an “incredibly hostile work environment and the retaliation I continued to receive from management at the CFPB due to the Ace Cash Express incident.”

This makes it more clear why English wanted to execute a palace coup at CFPB. What other skeletons are hiding in the closets of a regulatory agency set up almost specifically to persecute those not in favor with the progressive regime’s sanctimonious morals?

I’ve worked with Ace Cash Express. They are not criminals. They are not evil. They fill a consumer need for the millions of unbanked individuals in the U.S. who still need to collect a paycheck, pay their bills, buy insurance, and live productive lives.

I also know how the payday loan business works, and why such high interest rates are necessary. If 20 to 50 percent of your borrowers never paid a penny back, you’d have to get your interest up front, too. Where would progressives like people with no credit to go? I suppose to the black market or loan sharks who will do more than charge interest if the loan isn’t paid.

I urge the Senate to pass the Financial Institution Consumer Protection Act, and President Trump to sign it, and close the door on this kind of government abuse of private companies. I also hope that the DOJ fully investigates Jackson’s claims and the perpetrators are rooted out and punished.

This is just the kind of sanctimonious moralizing from the progressive left (not to mention hypocrisy and lying to get their way) that enrages me at the size and overreach of the federal government.