Three days ago something very bad happened to me. The manager from my US Bank branch left me a voice message telling me that my accounts were frozen until I called her and answered some questions. I called back and was told that I had a number of suspicious transactions and because this was a brand new account she was compelled to investigate. Specifically she informed me that I had two large wire transfers from Peru and two payments to American Precious Metals Exchange. She asked me to explain the nature of these transactions. I asked her if this was part of Patriot Act Compliance and she said that it was. She acted surprised that I even was aware of this process. I told her that I thought this was outrageous and that I would not give her this information. She told me that if I didn’t, that they would likely close my accounts. Having worked on Patriot Act Compliance in the past myself, I also understood that reporting would be sent to the IRS regarding “suspicious” activity regardless of whether I responded to her questions or not. I decided to cooperate and told her that the incoming wires were payment from my employer – a major mining company that is in feasibility stage for a large copper project in Peru. Then she asked me what I purchased from APMEX. I said that she could probably figure that out based on the company name. She said that wasn’t good enough and insisted that I needed to tell her what I had purchased. I said coins and that satisfied her.
Obviously, this left me in shock, but it gets worse. One day later my wife gets a notice delivered by UPS from US Bank. She has a different last name and the bank is a different branch. She has had the account open for almost 20 years. The notice said that they must speak to her immediately. She called them today and found out that her account had already been frozen and that they need to know why she had received a check from me for $6,000 and why she had written a check to APMEX. Just like me she was asked to tell them what she had purchased from APMEX and she told him. She was also asked why I had written her a check for $6,000 and she told them it was to pay bills. For the record, my wife voted for Obama twice and she is a hardcore Liberal. She is also public school teacher. She was almost crying as she related what had happened to her.
It is worth mentioning that this all occurred within weeks of me joining the NRA, National Association for Gun Rights (NAGR), Rocky Mountain Gun Owners (RMGO) and signing a number of petitions and contacting a large number of Senators and Representatives to encourage them to vote against gun control. In addition I have been selling off my gun collection and ammo on the ARMSLIST website here in Colorado. Clearly in my mind I have been targeted do to some combination of this activity.