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The investigation that Justice Department officials have dubbed "Operation Choke Point" was first disclosed in March 2013. The probe aims to prevent fraudsters from accessing consumer bank accounts by choking off their access to the payments system. Its effects have been felt by banks, payment processors and companies that make short-term consumer loans over the Internet, with some industry officials arguing that at least some of the affected online lenders are legitimate businesses. Here is a look at key milestones of the investigation.


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