Citigroup terminates manager involved in running QAnon website

The Citigroup Inc (Citi) logo is seen at the SIBOS banking and financial conference in Toronto, Ontario, Canada October 19, 2017. REUTERS/Chris Helgren/Files

(Reuters) - Citigroup Inc C.N said on Tuesday that it terminated a manager in its technology department following an investigation into his role as the operator of a popular website dedicated to the unfounded QAnon conspiracy theory.

Jason Gelinas had been placed on paid leave last month after he was identified as the operator of the website and its associated mobile apps by fact-checking site

“Mr. Gelinas is no longer employed by Citi. Our Code of Conduct includes specific policies that employees are required to adhere to, and when breaches are identified, the firm takes action,” the bank said in a statement.

QAnon followers espouse an intertwined series of beliefs, based on anonymous web postings from “Q”, who claims to have insider knowledge of the Trump administration.

QAnon has become a “big tent” conspiracy theory encompassing misinformation about topics ranging from alien landings to vaccine safety.

A core tenet of the conspiracy theory is that U.S. President Donald Trump is secretly fighting a cabal of child-sex predators that includes prominent Democrats, Hollywood elites and “deep state” allies.

Reporting by Abhishek Manikandan in Bengaluru and Imani Moise in New York; Editing by Anil D’Silva