The National Whistleblowers Center Press Room lists the latest press on whistleblower issues, NWC heroes, NWC staff, press releases on top issues, links to multimedia, and upcoming events.
NWC News Highlights
"It was wrong for the government to charge Mr. Manning with the offense of 'aiding the enemy.' Mr. Manning pleaded guilty to lesser offenses related to his disclosure of classified information. That should have ended the case. Charging a whistleblower with the crime of 'aiding the enemy,' simply because the whistleblower provided information to the news media, was wrong and was designed to improperly scare other citizens into silence. The court's refusal to convict on this count was well supported by the evidence and consistent with the First Amendment. Court's are required to balance the public right to know with the government's interest in secrecy."
For more information contact Mary Jane Wilmoth, firstname.lastname@example.org, 202-342-1902.
Washington, D.C. June 10, 2013. The National Whistleblower Center issued the following statement in support of NSA Whistleblower Edward Snowden:
Statement of Stephen M. Kohn, Executive Director of the National Whistleblower Center
“Edward Snowden should not be prosecuted. Instead, the White House must keep the promise made by President Obama, during his 2008 election campaign, when he pledged to support legislation that would fully protect all government whistleblowers, including those in sensitive national security positions.”
“Until Congress enacts a law, setting forth reasonable procedures by which civil servants can disclose national security violations to the American people, the government should not prosecute these whistleblowers. Congress and the President must do their jobs, and stop destroying the lives of civil servants who try to report misconduct”
There is significant historical precedent for the protection of whistleblowers demonstrating that such protections were strongly supported by the Founding Fathers. Mr. Kohn previously discussed this precedent in his New York Times Op-Ed, The Whistleblowers of 1777. Mr. Kohn is also the author of The Whistleblower's Handbook: A Step by Step Guide to Doing What's Right and Protecting Yourself (Lyons Press, 2011).
FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:
Mary Jane Wilmoth
Detroit, Michigan. January 23, 2013. On January 15, 2013 U.S. District Court Judge Robert H. Cleland issued a key ruling in support of Justice Department whistleblower Richard G. Convertino in his longstanding Privacy Act lawsuit against the DOJ. The Court ordered the Detroit Free Press to produce all documents related to how the Justice Department smeared its former star prosecutor, Richard Convertino, after Convertino exposed serous flaws in the government's "war on terror."
Convertino, one of the Justice Department's most successful prosecutors, obtained the first guilty verdicts in a post-9/11 terrorism prosecution. However, instead of lauding the Justice Department's counterterrorism program, Convertino testified that it was fundamentally flawed and administered by incompetent and politically motivated officials. The Justice Department, led by officials appointed by former Attorney General John Ashcroft, struck back and leaked false and highly derogatory information about Convertino to the Detroit Free Press. The leak was designed to discredit Convertino before his peers and force his resignation from the Department.
Washington, D.C. December 27, 2012. The Washington Post published year-end articles that highlighted three ongoing projects of the National Whistleblower Center.
In an article published on December 26, "Top 10 stories in the federal workforce in 2012", The Washington Post cited the scandal involving FDA electronic spying on its own scientists who blew the whistle on agency misconduct. The Post ranked the FDA electronic spying scandal as the number 9 story that affected the federal workforce this past year. The NWC has been actively supporting the scientists who have sued the FDA for whistleblower retaliation and challenged the constitutionality of the FDA's secret monitoring of the scientists' personal and private emails. As revealed by the NWC and the whistleblower scientists, the FDA targeted the whistleblowers for electronic surveillance by installing secret spyware on their computers. The FDA captured confidential emails from the whistleblowers' personal and private email accounts (such as Yahoo and Gmail accounts) and the FDA stole the whistleblowers' confidential communications with their attorneys as well as communications with members of Congress, the Inspector General and others discussing the whistleblowers' allegations of serious wrongdoing by the agency.
Former FBI Agent John Roberts profiled on 60 Minutes.
Recent Press Releases
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.
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.
Directive Lacks Due Process and Real Legal Protections
Washington, D.C. October 11, 2012 – Yesterday, the Obama Administration issued a Presidential Policy Directive designed to “protect” national security whistleblowers. The National Whistleblowers Center recognizes the Directive as a small step forward, but strongly criticizes it as failing to provide any real or substantive legal rights for national security employees.
Washington, D.C. September 27, 2012 — The National Whistleblowers Center and the No FEAR Coalition announce their support for the immediate passage of the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act (WPEA) for federal employee whistleblowers. The decision to support the Senate version (S. 743) of the WPEA came after the Senate removed a final poison pill from the bill.
UBS Bank Insider Celebrated for Exposing $20 Billion Tax Evasion Scheme
$104 Million Paid to the Whistleblower
Washington, D.C. September 11, 2012 – The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has awarded former UBS banker Bradley Birkenfeld a whistleblower reward of $104 Million for his contributions in providing the U.S. Government with insider information on UBS’ illegal offshore banking scheme. This is believed to be the largest reward ever given to an individual whistleblower in the United States and the first major reward issued under the IRS tax whistleblower law.
In a joint statement, Mr. Birkenfeld’s attorneys, Stephen M. Kohn and Dean A. Zerbe stated:
The IRS today sent 104 million messages to whistleblowers around the world – that there is now a safe and secure way to report tax fraud and that the IRS is now paying awards. The IRS also sent 104 million messages to banks around the world – stop enabling tax cheats or you will get caught.
FBI Whistleblower Dr. Frederic Whitehurst on Larry King Live.