Requests that the Hearing Scheduled for July 30, 2014 Present Balanced Testimony
Washington, D.C. July 25, 2014. Today the National Whistleblower Center released a new report entitled “Saving America's 'Most Important Tool to Uncover and Punish Fraud.'” The report rebuts arguments being raised by the Chamber of Commerce as part of its aggressive lobbying campaign to undercut and weaken the False Claims Act.
The FCA is widely acknowledged as America’s most effective anti-fraud law. It encourages whistleblowers to report fraud in government contracting, and results in the recovery of billions of dollars every year from fraudulent government contractors. The Chamber is preparing to testify at an upcoming hearing before the House Judiciary Committee in order to pave the way for Congress to weaken the FCA.
“Why would anyone want to undermine the key law protecting taxpayer’s money? Why would anyone want to destroy a key anti-fraud law? The Chamber of Commerce is doing the bidding for corrupt contractors, some of which have engaged in bid-rigging, illegal marketing of unapproved drugs, and selling unsafe bullet proof vests to police. In a recent FCA case the Chamber filed papers in court to keep secret company files that fully documented widespread corruption in a major defense contract,” said Stephen M. Kohn, Executive Director of the National Whistleblower Center and the author of the NWC’s rebuttal report.
“No member of Congress should support the Chamber’s misguided and misleading campaign to weaken America’s most important anti-fraud law. Currently, the House Judiciary Committee will not permit representatives from the National Whistleblower Center to testify. This should be corrected, and the NWC should be permitted to present it report to the full committee,” Kohn added.
SOX whistleblower protection covers
mutual fund industry
Washington, D.C. March 4, 2014. The
U.S. Supreme Court ruled today in Lawson v. FMR, LLC, that
contractors and subcontractors of publicly traded companies are fully
protected under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act for corporate whistleblowers.
Significantly, in today's decision the
Supreme Court explicitly held that investment advisors and other
"independent contractors" employed in the mutual fund industry
are fully protected under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act's whistleblower
provisions. The Supreme Court's ruling reversed a lower court
holding excluding the mutual fund industry from protection under
In her majority opinion, on page 20, Justice Ginsburg explained that her ruling "avoids insulating the entire mutual fund industry from" the corporate whistleblower law. Justice Ginsburg also explained that these mutual funds manage $14.7 trillion dollars, on behalf of "nearly 94 million investors."
Stephen M. Kohn, Executive Director of the National Whistleblower Center, released the following statement regarding the importance of this decision:
“This is a big win for corporate whistleblowers. This is a big win for every person who invests money through mutual funds. The Supreme Court closed a potentially devastating loop hole in corporate whistleblower protection. By ruling that contractors and subcontractors of publicly traded companies are fully protected under the corporate whistleblower provisions, the Court has put an end to the popular shell game which large companies use try to silence whistleblowers.”
The National Whistleblower Center filed
a friend of the court brief before the Supreme Court in this case and
has been instrumental in defending the Sarbanes-Oxley Act from
corporate attempts to undermine its effectiveness.
Mr. Kohn is available for further
comment on this decision. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
to set up an interview.
Read the decision: Lawson v. FMR, LLC
Washington, D.C. February 26, 2014. In an exclusive report, The Washington Times reports that important information regarding the FBI’s counterterrorist achievements was never given to the members 9/11 Commission. The fact that the FBI had placed a human source in direct contact with Osama bin Laden in 1993 and ascertained that the al Qaeda leader was looking to finance terrorist attacks in the United States, was revealed in court testimony in a little-noticed employment dispute case.
The Agent responsible for finding and cultivating this source, and successfully thwarting terrorist threats in California, is FBI Supervisory Special Agent Bassem Youssef. Mr. Youssef was the FBI’s highest ranking counterterrorism official to “blow the whistle” on the FBI’s gross mismanagement of the War on Terror. He was also the highest-ranking FBI agent who is fluent Arabic. In spite of his qualifications, after the 9/11 attacks the FBI irresponsibly questioned his loyalties due to his national origin and blacklisted him. When he alerted a Member of Congress and the Director of the FBI to the discrimination he faced, Mr. Youssef was subjected to more severe retaliation, including the denial of promotions, punitive transfers and stripping him of all his prior operational counterterrorism duties, which had resulted in the successful infiltration detailed in today’s Washington Times. The retaliation against Mr. Youssef continues to this day.
The National Whistleblower Center issued an Action Alert calling on President Obama to give credit to Supervisory Special Agent Youssef for his work in one of the most significant triumphs in the war on terror and to tell the FBI to stop the retaliation against him. Please join with the NWC and take action on this critical issue.
Read: EXCLUSIVE: FBI had human source in contact with bin Laden as far back as 1993
Washington, D.C. Feburary 20, 2014. Today the Securities and Exchange Commission filed an extensive brief and position statement before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit urging the court to fully protect whistleblowers who make internal disclosures exposing fraud against investors and other violations of securities laws. Linked here are a copy of the SEC's brief and a copy of a statement by Sean McKessy, Chief of the SEC Whistleblower Office. The brief was filed in the case of Liu Meng-Lin v. Siemens AG, case number 13-4385.
Stephen M. Kohn, Executive Director of the National Whistleblower Center, released the following statement regarding the SEC's action:
"The brief filed today by the SEC marks a fundament shift in the position of the Commission and the whistleblower community. The Commission is backing up its words with action. The Commission's rules recognize the importance of protecting employees who report fraud internally to managers. Practically speaking, most fraud is disclosed through the chain of command and retaliating against employees who report internally has a devastating impact on the enforcement of laws designed to protect shareholders from the unscrupulous wolves of Wall Street.
In filing a powerful and well written position statement supporting whistleblowers who report fraud internally, the SEC is backing up its rules with strong legal action. The SEC has done the right thing in advocating for justice in a whistleblower retaliation case."
National Whistleblowers Center
P.O. Box 25074
Washington, D.C. 20027
FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:
Mary Jane Wilmoth
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Whistleblower Fears UBS Banker Raoul Weil
Will Get Sweetheart Deal
UBS Tax Fraud Kingpin Extradited to
United States Faces Hearing Today
Fort Lauderdale, Florida. December 16, 2013. Raoul Weil, the former head of UBS’s Global Wealth Management business is scheduled to appear for a hearing in U.S. District Court in Fort Lauderdale today. He was extradited to the United States from Italy where he was arrested on an international warrant after being indicted for his role in conspiring to violate U.S. tax laws. Weil was the top boss for UBS whistleblower Bradley Birkenfeld, and controlled the international illegal banking schemes worldwide.
As head of Global Wealth Management while Birkenfeld worked at the bank, Weil had responsibility for five international regions for which UBS actively solicited wealthy clients to establish secret and illegal accounts and other fraudulent enterprises that permitted hundreds of billions of dollars to be hidden from local taxing authorities, including the United States. His regions were: Asia, Middle East, Africa, Europe and Americas). Martin Liechti, who was directly responsible for the illegal banking activities that Birkenfeld exposed, was the head of the America’s program, and reported to Weil.
In 2007, UBS banker Bradley Birkenfeld provided the IRS, SEC, U.S. Senate and Department of Justice with unprecedented access to thousands of pages of documents and other information revealing for the first time the international fraud schemes managed by Weil. Birkenfeld’s historic disclosures led directly to Weil’s indictment in 2008 and his eventual arrest by Italian authorities.
In a statement issued today by Stephen M. Kohn, the Executive Director of the National Whistleblower Center and one of Mr. Birkenfeld’s attorneys, Kohn warned that the Justice Department “may give Weil a sweetheart deal that could cost U.S. taxpayers billions of dollars, and set back international efforts to curb corruption.”
Kohn pointed to a highly improper “deal” cut with Martin Liechti, who formally ran the America’s program under Weil’s leadership at UBS. “Liechti was caught red-handed in the United States, but was permitted to plead the ‘Fifth Amendment’ in testimony before Congress, and soon after permitted to leave the United States without having to face justice for his illegal actions in hiding billions of dollars from the IRS,” Kohn said.
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