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After Gay Men Drugged & Robbed, Lawmaker Urges Chase CEO to Fix Zelle

After Gay Men Drugged & Robbed, Lawmaker Urges Chase CEO to Fix Zelle

Chase Bank chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon and NY State Sen. Brad Hoylman-Sigal
Chase Bank CEO Jamie Dimon (left) and N.Y. State Sen. Brad Hoylman-Sigal

An out state senator wants Chase to do better for LGBTQ+ victims who were drugged, assaulted, and robbed. Some even died.


A gay New York state lawmaker wants Chase Bank’s CEO to do more to assist victims robbed through their payment processing service Zelle after they visited LGBTQ+ establishments.

State Sen. Brad Hoylman-Sigal says several people saw their bank accounts drained after they patronized LGBTQ+ bars and were allegedly drugged and abducted. In some cases, Face ID on iPhones was reportedly used to access victims’ bank accounts via Zelle.

“Chase should immediately change its fraud policy and implement stringent safeguards in connection with e-pay platforms, particularly in light of the series of shocking incidents at LGBTQ bars and nightclubs in my Senate district where individuals apparently have been preyed upon, incapacitated against their will, and robbed through fraudulent transfers on Zelle,” Hoylman-Sigal said in a press release.

The senator, who is gay, says that Chase Bank’s fraud policy should be changed so victims can be reimbursed.

"Twenty-five-year-old Julio Ramirez died on April 21, 2022, after being drugged and robbed following a visit to an LGBTQ bar in my Senate district,” Hoylman-Sigal wrote in a letter to Chase chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon.

“An NYPD investigation subsequently revealed approximately $20,000 was stolen from his accounts through the platforms ApplePay and Zelle. To my knowledge, his family has not been reimbursed. Worse, his murder remains unsolved,” he continued.

During a drugged attack at another LGBTQ bar, another victim was robbed of $10,000 through Zelle while unconscious, but despite filing a fraud claim promptly, he has not yet been reimbursed by Chase for his losses, the senator wrote.

He also wants to mandate two-factor identification on platforms like Zelle for large transfers.

“As these platforms are being exploited by wrongdoers in the most appalling of circumstances, creating a heightened level of public concern, I hope you hasten action to change your fraud policies and reimburse these victims and their families as soon as possible,” Hoylman-Sigal wrote.

“I implore you to swiftly institute suspicious activity safeguards and other precautions for e-pay platforms that can provide an early warning to banks and law enforcement to help discourage and prevent these abhorrent crimes, such as requiring mandatory two-factor authentication or other verification for large transfers,” he added.

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