Citigroup has fired an executive who was unmasked last month as the operator of a popular QAnon website.
Jason Gelinas, a senior vice president in Citi’s technology group, got a pink slip from the $1.9 trillion megabank after it was discovered he was running QMap, a user-friendly website that collected and organized the various postings of Q, the pseudonym of QAnon’s mysterious founder and leader of the controversial conspiracy group.
“Mr. Gelinas is no longer employed by Citi,” a company spokesperson said in a statement. “Our Code of Conduct includes specific policies that employees are required to adhere to, and when breaches are identified, the firm takes action.”
The spokesperson didn’t elaborate, but last month the bank had said “employees are required to disclose and obtain approvals for outside business activities.” At the time, multiple reports had found that Gelinas was earning more than $3,000 a month from the crowdfunding site Patreon to pay QMap’s bills.
Gelinas, a 48-year-old resident of Berkeley Heights, NJ, was outed in early September by Logically, a fact-checking news site that also discovered Gelinas is a longtime Wall Street IT expert who joined Citi in 2003 after a stint at Credit Suisse.
Reached by Bloomberg outside his home last month, Gelinas described QAnon — a conspiracy theory that claims President Trump is battling a “deep state” ring of child-sex traffickers — as “a patriotic movement to save the country.”
It’s not an ideal time for Citi to be reckoning with a politically sensitive firing, especially in its technology group.
In mid-September, around the same time Gelinas was unmasked as a QAnon major player, reports swirled that regulators are preparing a formal reprimand for Citi for failing to upgrade the bank’s outdated technology systems, opening it up to online threats and other risky behaviors.
On Sept. 10, Citi announced that chief executive Michael Corbat will retire in February, elevating Jane Fraser to CEO and making her the first woman to hold that role at a top-four American bank.
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