PayPal shuts down fundraising for Texas real estate agent charged in Capitol riot

Jenna Ryan is raising money to cover legal costs and "other losses" brought on by her arrest. But she can't collect funds via PayPal anymore.

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Laura Hautala
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PayPal closed the account of Jenna Ryan, who's charged with federal crimes for her participation in the Capitol riots on Jan. 6.

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Texas real estate agent Jenna Ryan can't accept donations on PayPal anymore, the payment processing giant said Thursday. PayPal closed her account after she made a plea online for funds to help pay for her legal costs and other losses stemming from charges filed against her for participating in the US Capitol riots on Jan. 6.

Raising legal defense funds is allowed on PayPal, but the company said Ryan was fundraising for additional purposes, which violates its policies. "If we learn that funds are used for anything other than legal defense, the account will be subject to immediate closure," the company said in a statement. PayPal also allows fundraising for verified, enrolled charities on its PayPal Giving Fund platform.


Jenna Ryan tweeted Thursday asking for funds to help cover legal fees and other losses.


In an email, Ryan said she was "astounded," and that she's been a PayPal customer for 20 years. "I was canceled with no warning or anything," Ryan said, adding that "people that have patriotic beliefs that are different from places like PayPal will need their own system of money and commerce."

The company previously shut down the account of a right-wing website and fundraising platform that was accepting donations for people who traveled to Washington, DC, for the events of Jan. 6.

PayPal joins other tech companies that have taken down accounts for politicians and regular people involved in the Capitol riots. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other social media platforms have suspended accounts belonging to former President Donald Trump over concern that he condoned the violence at the Capitol. Amazon suspended its web hosting services for social media platform Parler because of violent posts on the app, and Shopify removed its support for online stores selling merchandise for the Donald Trump campaign and business organization.

Ryan was charged on Jan. 15 with entering the Capitol building without legal authority and with disorderly conduct on the Capitol grounds. Ryan allegedly livestreamed video as she entered the Capitol, according to a statement by an FBI agent. In a now-removed tweet, she also allegedly posted a photo of herself in front of a pane of broken window glass at the Capitol building, flashing the peace sign. In the caption, she said she "stormed the Capitol" and described it as the best day of her life.