• Mon, May 20 2013

Porn Stars Are Denied Bank Accounts

jenna jameson

I’ve always been told that one of the basic signifiers of adulthood is reaching an age where you do not store all of your money frantically under your mattress or in a piggy bank. You go to the bank, you open an account, you feel that you’ve grown-up. But then, I guess I do not work in the adult film industry where that, weirdly, would not be an option. 

According to MSN Money:

Chanel Preston knows not everyone approves of her chosen profession. That’s one of the risks that go with being one of the biggest stars in porn. But she never thought it would affect her ability to open a bank account.

Preston recently opened a business account with City National Bank in Los Angeles. When she went to deposit checks into the account days later, however, she was told it had been shut down because of “compliance issues.”

She found the manager she had worked with originally and asked what had happened. The bank, she was told, was worried about the Webcam shows she had on her site and had revoked the account.

Okay, I figured that was an absurd thing to happen at one absurd bank that hated having money inside it. It was a bank that had someone rejected its original function in favor of lining its safe with air and bibles. I thought, “Okay, you one crazy bank.” Nope. Happens all the time.

“The people within my (local) bank have urged me to downplay the nature of my business because corporate frowns on it,” one industry veteran said.

The issue seems to be reaching a boiling point, though. Earlier this week, Marc Greenberg, the founder of the soft-porn studio MRG Entertainment, filed suit against JP Morgan Chase in Los Angeles Superior Court, alleging the bank violated fair lending laws and its own policy for refusing to underwrite a loan for “moral reasons.”

Dude. I thought banks would be the last institution I would have to convince to trade in their old fashioned morals for money, but, really, trade in your morals for money, banks. This is absurd.

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  • Eileen

    Hmm. I wonder if there’s more to the story. Actually, lots of people can’t open bank accounts – if you’ve ever had a bank account closed for “account abuse” (i.e. overdrawing a lot), it gets put up on the bank equivalent of a credit report, and many banks will not allow you to open an account with them except maybe a CD or safe deposit box. And many banks have strict rules about site visits for business accounts because of federal anti-money-laundering, internet gambling, and OFAC (Office of Foreign Asset Control) laws. Maybe this bank is just being a poopyhead about her profession, in which case they should get over it and she should take her business elsewhere, but maybe they have a legitimate legal concern with her business or her account history that has nothing to do with her being a porn star. (Perhaps in one of the webcam shows she said, “Now I’m going to show you how to launder money using your vagina.” Or maybe she is regularly getting payments from an individual or country on the OFAC list.)

  • Melissa

    Many banks are also blacklisting the owners of legal marijuana dispensaries, citing federal law.