|Germany Should Be Applauded For Rewarding Whistleblowers|
Washington, D.C. February 4, 2010. According to Time Magazine , German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaüble announced on Tuesday that the German government has agreed to buy a CD from an anonymous informant that contains the details of up to 1,500 people who are suspected of holding secret bank accounts in Switzerland and evading German taxes.
In statements released today by the National Whistleblowers Center, Director of Advocacy Lindsey M. Williams said, “Germany should be applauded for their efforts to combat banking secrecy that steals tax revenue from developed countries and hides development money from the world’s poorest countries.”
UBS whistleblower Bradley Birkenfeld
has yet to receive a monetary reward for the billions of dollars that
the U.S. government has recovered as a result of his disclosures.
Instead, Mr. Birkenfeld is currently serving a 40-month prison term.
It is no mystery why the next banking whistleblower anonymously
approached a different country and asked for his/her reward upfront.
The U.S. Department of Justice mishandled the Birkenfeld case by
ignoring the information he gave them on how to obtain the names and
account information of all the tax cheats. Instead, the DOJ negotiated
a deal with the Swiss government for a small portion of the names
(4,450 out of 19,500). The Swiss government recently announced that it
will not be handing over the 4,500 names and may seek to renegotiate