Celebrating Whistleblowers

Whistleblowers risk their reputations and careers, and sometimes even put their lives in jeopardy when they report wrongdoing. They deserve to be recognized and honored.

Here are some of the whistleblowers who have courageously spoken out about fraud, waste and abuse of power.

Harry Barkо

During the Iraq War, Harry “Hap” Barko, a former contract administrator for KBR/Halliburton in Iraq, discovered that KBR vastly inflated the costs of constructing laundry facilities and providing laundry services on at least three military bases. Barko’s case alleged that KBR and its subcontractors committed national defense fraud violations of the False Claims Act. While […]

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Bradley Birkenfeld

Bradley Birkenfeld, a former banker and wealth manager at UBS, was the first international banker to blow the whistle on illegal offshore accounts held in Switzerland by U.S. citizens. For his disclosures of IRS tax fraud by UBS, Birkenfeld was awarded $104 million, the largest reward ever given to an individual in the 25-year history […]

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James Bobreski

In 1999, James Bobreski, a process control technician contracted at the D.C. Water and Sewer Authority’s Blue Plains Advanced Wastewater treatment plant, raised concerns about faulty chlorine gas alarms and the unlawful storage of over 100 tons of liquid chlorine. After attempting to notify supervisors and urging them to make the necessary repairs, he was […]

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Mauro Botta

Mauro Botta, an Italian-born financial manager, blew the whistle on Price Waterhouse Cooper (PwC) in 2012 after he allegedly discovered fraud related to conflicts of interest in auditing with PwC and its clients. Botta worked for PwC for 18 years before blowing the whistle, for which he claims he was wrongfully terminated in retaliation to […]

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Mary Bozoyan

A veteran math teacher, Mary Bozoyan, publicly criticized the principal of William Cullen Bryant High School in Queens, NY in a grade-fixing scandal and was swiftly retaliated against. Bozoyan’s allegations against the principal included illegally changing grades, falsifying records, stealing school funds, covering up sexual affairs between staff and students, and hiding a hazing incident. […]

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Johnny Burris

Johnny Burris, a former JP Morgan financial advisor, blew the whistle while at JP Morgan on financial misconduct relating to his clients’ savings. He alleges that JP Morgan urged him to invest his client’s savings into JP Morgan’s in-house mutual funds and managed accounts. He claims he was wrongfully terminated and defamed by the bank […]

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Joseph Carson

Joseph Carson made disclosures to the Department of Energy regarding specific dangers to public health and safety. In many years of trying, including three appeals to the US Supreme Court, Carson’s whistleblower disclosures involving US Office of Special Counsel and US Merit Systems Protection Board remain unresolved, with no determination as to whether he had […]

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Dr. Janet Chandler

Janet Chandler, a Chicago clinical psychologist, blew the whistle on “violations of patients’ rights scientific protocol” at a federally funded research project at Cook County Hospital on the treatment of pregnant cocaine and heroin addicts and their children. Chandler brought a successful False Claims Act lawsuit against Cook County Hospital for forging data and failing […]

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Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo

Dr. Coleman-Adebayo sacrificed her career at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to speak out against vanadium poisoning in South Africa. She is the author of, NO FEAR: A Whistleblower’s Triumph Over Corruption and Retaliation at EPA. NO FEAR tells the story of vanadium miners in South Africa and Dr. Coleman-Adebayo’s efforts to protect them. Although she won […]

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Richard Convertino

Richard Convertino is a former top United States prosecutor who successfully prosecuted the first terrorist case after 9/11. After winning the case, he blew the whistle on serious U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) misconduct relating to the war on terror to the U.S. Senate. In retaliation, Convertino lost his position, and the DOJ indicted him […]

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Cynthia Cooper

Cynthia Cooper exposed corporate misconduct in the infamous WorldCom scandal paving the way for the enactment of the SOX corporate reform law. Cynthia Cooper exploded the bubble that was WorldCom when she informed its board that the company had covered up $3.8 billion in losses through the prestidigitations of phony bookkeeping. In recognition of her […]

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Julia Davis

Julia Davis is a national security whistleblower, anti-terrorism/immigration expert, who exposed glaring shortcomings in the processing of applicants for admission into the U.S. from terrorist countries. Julia served as a Customs and Border Protection Officer at the San Ysidro Port of Entry – the largest and busiest land border crossing in the U.S. and in […]

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Lorenzo Davis, Esq.

Lorenzo Davis, a licensed attorney and former policeman of 24 years and former police commander, blew the whistle on the improper documentation of excessive force cases at the now defunct Independent Police Review Authority (IPRA), a civilian police review board in Chicago. Davis became aware of reporting discrepancies at the IPRA after joining as an […]

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Brian Donlon

Brian Donlon blew the whistle on academic fraud in the Montgomery County Maryland Public School System. The Maryland Court of Appeals ruled on July 12, 2018 that public school teachers are not covered under the Maryland Whistleblower Act. Sparked by Donlon’s case the Maryland General Assembly passed the Public School Employee Whistleblower Act  in April of 2017, unfortunately, […]

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Sibel Edmonds

Sibel Edmonds is the founder and president of the National Security Whistleblowers Coalition (NSWBC), a nonprofit organization dedicated to aiding national security whistleblowers. She appears frequently on national radio and TV as a commentator on matters related to whistleblowers, national security, and excessive secrecy & classification. She has been featured on CBS 60 Minutes, CNN, […]

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Daniel Ellsberg

Daniel Ellsberg, former United States military analyst, blew the whistle on U.S. Government misconduct in the Vietnam War by leaking the “Pentagon Papers.” The Pentagon Papers revealed that, early on, the government had knowledge that the war as then resourced could most likely not be won. Ellsberg was charged under the Espionage Act of 1917 along with other charges of […]

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Vera English

Vera English was a former General Electric (GE) employee who discovered widespread radiation contamination by GE. English was fired in retaliation for reporting the contamination in 1984. Her subsequent Supreme Court case established the right of whistleblowers to pursue cases under state law with the National Whistleblower Center filing an amicus brief in support for her […]

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Dr. Jonathan Fishbein

In 2005, Dr. Jonathan Fishbein alleged that a National Institute of Health (NIH)-funded clinical trial of the antiretroviral drug nevirapine to treat HIV/AIDS was invalid because of poor data collection, faulty record-keeping, and lax quality control. He was fired from his position as Director of the NIH Office for Policy in Clinical Research Operations after exposing this misconduct. However Dr. […]

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Ernie Fitzgerald

In 1968, Fitzgerald reported a $2.3 billion cost overrun in the Lockheed C-5 aircraft program. As a congressional witness before the Joint Economic Committee, he testified with candor and transparency about billions of dollars in avionics program cost overruns and other technical problems. Fitzgerald was illegally fired by President Nixon. Mr. Fitzgerald’s landmark federal whistleblower […]

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Lea Frye

Lea Frye, a former senior reservoir engineer at Anadarko Petroleum Corp., raised concerns about the fraudulent overstatement of the value of oil reserves by Anadarko executives. In 2016, Frye filed a complaint with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), alleging investor fraud and insider trading at Anadarko. Her complaint alleged that executives at Anadarko […]

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Bunnatine Greenhouse

Bunnatine “Bunny” Greenhouse served as the highest-ranking civilian-contracting official at the Army Corps of Engineers when she blew the whistle on a highly improper $7 billion no-bid contract to Halliburton for the repair of Iraqi oil fields following the 2003 invasion. In retaliation for her disclosures, Greenhouse was removed from her position. After a long […]

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Kiki Ikossi

U.S. Naval Research Laboratory whistleblower Kiki Ikossi was retaliated against after filing complaints to the Navy Research Lab HR Office for workplace gender discrimination in the early 2000s. Her attorney, NWC President, Michael Kohn, argued her case, supported by briefs from other key NWC staff. The decision in Ikossi v. England, together with two prior […]

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Paul Jayko

Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) employee, Paul Jayko, discovered that public schools in Marion, Ohio were being built on a former Army toxic waste dump site. After investigating the high occurrence of cancer in the area, Jayko concluded there was a “strong potential for human health risk” and recommended that the Ohio EPA immediately conduct […]

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Tanya Ward Jordan

Tanya Ward Jordan blew the whistle on gross mismanagement, violation of civil rights laws, abuse of authority and flaws in the Department of Commerce’s application of a personnel pay system in the late 1990’s. As a result of her whistleblowing modifications to the personnel pay system were made; a workforce culture survey was conducted; and […]

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Robert Kobus

In October 2005, Former Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Operations Manager, Robert Kobus, made protected disclosures to FBI senior staff that certain officials were falsifying time records. In response, Kobus was moved to a separate, isolated office in retaliation. Kobus faced internal humiliation at the hands of his FBI colleagues and supervisors, with retaliation ranging […]

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Will Kramer

Will Kramer was an occupational health and safety consultant when he documented deeply disturbing conditions and improper handling of hazardous waste at several plants that recondition industrial plastic containers and steel drums. The plants are owned by a publicly traded multinational corporation, Greif Inc. Kramer reported potential health, safety, environmental and securities violations to government […]

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Dr. David Lewis

Dr. David Lewis, an internationally renowned microbiologist and former senior research microbiologist with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s Office of Research & Development, found that the agricultural use of processed sewage sludge promoted by EPA programs was linked to illnesses and deaths, prompting the EPA officials who developed the Agency’s sewage sludge regulations to shut […]

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Joe Macktal

In 1988, a journeyman electrician working for Halliburton Brown & Root (HB&R), Joe Macktal, reported serious safety defects at the Comanche Peak nuclear power plant. Lawyers at HB&R coerced Macktal into signing “hush money” settlement non-disclosure agreements barring him from reporting his concerns to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). In September 1988, Macktal willfully violated […]

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Robert J. MacLean

Robert MacLean is a former federal air marshal. In July 2003, air marshals received an advisory from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) of an imminent Al Qaeda plot targeting long-distance flights. DHS announced two days later that the use of air-marshals on long-distance flights, requiring marshals to stay overnight in hotels, would be eliminated […]

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William Marcus

Dr. William Marcus, a Senior Science Advisor at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), lost his position after he documented that the Office of Drinking Water-approved and EPA-backed practice of adding fluoride to the nation’s drinking water supplies could lead to an increase in cancer rates in 1990. Attorneys working with NWC conducted extensive discovery into […]

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Michael McCray, Esq. CPA (inactive)

Michael McCray blew the whistle on $40 million of waste, fraud and abuse during the Clinton Administration at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. He subsequently engaged in judicial reform efforts by filing a judicial complaint that contributed to the early of retirement of disgraced Federal District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson (U.S. vs. Microsoft); and he […]

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Daniel P. Meyer

Daniel P. Meyer is a three-time whistleblower who most recently served as the Executive Director for Intelligence Community Whistleblowing & Source Protection, specializing in national security whistleblower cases. He was removed from his position in March of 2018, a decision that has come under sharp review by Members of Congress. Mr. Meyer is also a […]

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Charles Middleton

Charles Middleton, a former senior tax executive at General Electric, Caterpillar, Walmart Inc. and Oxbow Carbon LLC, filed allegations that one or more of his former employers engaged in improper practices that resulted in the underpayment of tax. He alleges that in retaliation for filing his complaints with the IRS he was fired and is now […]

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Marrita Murphy

Marrita Murphy was a former employee of the New York Air National Guard who blew the whistle on their violations of six environmental statutes. Murphy was subsequently blacklisted in the industry for her disclosures. Murphy received compensation and damages for the retaliation she experienced, and her case set a precedent prohibiting the badmouthing of whistleblowers […]

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Jason Piccolo

Jason Piccolo is a Department of Homeland Security whistleblower. He blew the whistle in 2015 on the review practices for potential sponsors of unaccompanied alien children.  Some children were being placed with sponsors with violent criminal histories. Senator Chuck Grassley sent a letter to DHS regarding Piccolo’s allegations. Piccolo’s efforts caused DHS to make changes to its […]

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Edward Pierson

Edward Pierson, a former manager at a Washington Boeing factory, raised concerns to his supervisors about the rushed production of the 737 Max aircraft that was plagued with overworked employees, missing parts, and pressure from Boeing to complete. Pierson testified before Congress in December of 2019 stating that his warnings were ignored after he formally […]

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Jhonna Porter

Jhonna Porter, a charge nurse at HCA-owned West Hills Hospital in Los Angeles, was suspended after she informed colleagues that their hospital unit was to be converted to care exclusively for COVID-19 patients. Out of concern for the safety of her fellow nurses, Porter posted in a private social media group with only nurses from […]

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Wendell Potter

Mr. Potter blew the whistle on the health insurance industry. He gave testimony before Congress regarding the health insurances industry’s role in the rising costs of health care and the growing number of uninsured and under-insured Americans. Potter’s testimony resulted in major reforms that were included in the Affordable Care Act. Learn More: The Making […]

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Robert Ranghelli

Robert Ranghelli was fired from the National Funeral Home in VA for blowing the whistle on the company’s mishandling of bodies. Mr. Ranghelli publicly corroborated allegations that military veterans awaiting burial at Arlington National Cemetery were stored unrefrigerated and allowed to decompose before burial. Articles related to Ranghelli’s case: Family Asks Fairfax Prosecutor to Investigate […]

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Marcel Reid

Marcel Reid’s whistleblowing forced ACORN to stop misusing public funds and return to their core decentralized mission. Afterwards, she went on to join the National Board of Directors of Pacifica Radio and have Pacifica become the first national media organization to vote to support whistleblowers. Reid also became the first Whistleblower Liaison in Major Media. […]

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Daniel Richardson

Daniel Richardson reported his employer Bristol-Myers Squibb for illegal marketing drugs which resulted in increased Medicare and Medicaid costs. Richardson, and other whistleblowers, filed qui tam actions against the drug maker. In September of 2007, the Department of Justice announced a settlement in which Bristol-Myers Squibb agreed to pay $515 million to resolve the allegations. […]

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John Roberts

During his time at the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)’s Office of Professional Responsibility, Unit Chief John Roberts was the key investigator responsible for uncovering misconduct in many high-profile FBI scandals, including the Ruby Ridge shootings. Then Stephen Kohn, NWC Board Chair and Roberts’ attorney, obtained his permission to speak out in a 60 Minutes […]

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Gene Ross

Eugene “Gene” Ross uncovered the Amerindo Investment Advisor fraud in 2004 while he was employed by Bear Stearns. After discovery of the fraud, Mr. Ross confronted the principals of Amerindo and immediately reported the fraud to his superiors at Bear Stearns. After his report, he suffered retaliation. Alberto Vilar and Gary Tanaka, the principals of […]

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Coleen Rowley

Coleen Rowley brought several of the pre 9/11 lapses to light and testified to the Senate Judiciary Committee on some of the endemic problems facing the FBI and the intelligence community. In 1990, Ms. Rowley was transferred to the FBI office in Minneapolis where she assumed the duties of Chief Division Counsel, which entailed oversight […]

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William Sanjour

William Sanjour, an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) employee, was one of the lead whistleblowers in the Reagan Administration EPA scandals and advocated for public access to environmental information. Supported by whistleblower lawyers at the National Whistleblower Center in addition to his attorneys in Sanjour v. EPA, he challenged the rules restricting EPA workers’ right to […]

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Dr. Tommie “Toni” Savage

Dr. Tommie “Toni” Savage worked as a highly respected contracting officer with the Army Corps of Engineers in the Huntsville, Alabama Support Center. In her career, Savage received many accolades for her integrity and outstanding performances on the job. In 2006, Savage reported on a pattern and practice of illegal contracting activity resulting in millions […]

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Andrew Scollick

Andrew Scollick blew the whistle on a multi-million dollar scheme to systematically deny service-disabled small business veterans contracts as a result of two contracting firms working in conjunction with two of the largest surety bonding companies, Hanover Insurance Company and Hudson Insurance Company, to obtain Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) set-aside contracts from Veteran Administration […]

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Karen Silkwood

Americas first nuclear whistleblower, Karen Silkwood discovered numerous health violations, including exposure to high levels of nuclear contamination, at the Kerr-McGee nuclear power plant near Crescent, Oklahoma. In the summer of 1974, she testified to the Atomic Energy Commission about her concerns. She joined the union and became an activist on behalf of issues of health and safety at […]

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Edward Snowden

In 2013, Edward Snowden, a former intelligence contractor for the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA), revealed the existence of previously highly classified intelligence-gathering surveillance programs run by the NSA and the U.K.’s equivalent, the GCHQ. While working at the NSA, Snowden began accumulating information on NSA surveillance programs and activities while contracted there from 2009 […]

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Jóhannes Stefánsson

Jóhannes Stefánsson is the former Director of Operations in Namibia for Icelandic fishing company Samherji. He worked with anti-corruption authorities and the media to expose a fishing rights bribery scheme in Namibia. Samherji’s CEO was investigated for allegedly approving bribes, estimated at $10 million, to Namibian politicians and companies to illegally obtain offshore fishing rights. […]

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Russell Tice

Russell D. Tice is a former intelligence analyst and operations officer for the U.S. Air Force, Navy Intelligence’s Naval Security Group (NSG), Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), and National Security Agency (NSA). During his nearly 20-year career with various United States government agencies, he conducted many worldwide intelligence missions to include missions related to the Kosovo […]

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Chris Tobe

Chris Tobe, a former trustee of the Kentucky Employee Retirement System (KERS), blew the whistle on underfunding and pension investment corruption in Kentucky’s pension system in 2010. Tobe claimed that for over a decade KY governors and legislators underfunded KERS, which provides pensions to state employees, and cutting deals with hedge funds to bring investment […]

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Madhuri Trivedi

Madhuri Trivedi is a former General Electric (GE) lead engineer and cybersecurity specialist who blew the whistle on gaps in GE’s healthcare cybersecurity system while working at the GE Healthcare headquarters in Wisconsin. At GE Healthcare, Trivedi noticed that GE’s digital connectivity software, Insite EXC, had cybersecurity defects, was vulnerable to outside hacking, prone to […]

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Jane Turner

Jane Turner, a former Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Special Agent, led the Bureau’s highly successful program combating child sex crimes and crimes against women on Indian Reservations in North Dakotah. After discovering and exposing the FBI’s failures within the child crime program in 1998-199, Turner was removed from her senior position in retaliation. Turner […]

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Linda Tripp

Linda Tripp, a former White House employee, made disclosures to the Office of Independent Counsel that President Clinton had lied under oath resulting in him being found in contempt of court and losing his law license. White House whistleblower Linda Tripp successfully challenged the Department of Defense when it illegally released confidential information from her […]

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Lieutenant Colonel Darrel Vandeveld

Vandeveld is Lieutenant Colonel in the US Army Reserve Judge Advocate General’s Corps.  Since the September 2001 attacks, he has served in Bosnia, Africa, Iraq and Afghanistan, and has been awarded the Bronze Star Medal, the Iraqi Campaign Medal, the Joint Service Commendation Medal, and two Joint Meritorious Unit Awards. From May 2007 to September […]

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Sherron Watkins

Sherron Watkins exposed corporate misconduct in the infamous Enron scandal paving the way for the enactment of the SOX corporate reform law. Sherron Watkins is the Enron vice president who wrote a letter to chairman Kenneth Lay in the summer of 2001 warning him that the company’s methods of accounting were improper. In recognition of […]

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David P. Weber

David P. Weber, a former assistant inspector general for investigations at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and a certified fraud examiner, was fired October 2012.  He alleged in a lawsuit that the firing was done in retaliation for disclosing possible computer security breaches, and misconduct at the agency to superiors and members of U.S. […]

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Roger Wensil

Roger Wensil was America’s first nationally recognized whistleblower at a nuclear weapons facility. Wensil came to prominence after blowing the whistle on illegal drug sales, safety violations, and the systematic quality failures taking place at the DuPont BF Shaw-owned Savannah River Nuclear Weapons Facility that provided weapons-grade plutonium for the U.S. government. After his disclosures, […]

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Dr. Aaron Westrick

Dr. Aaron Westrick, a former research director for America’s largest body armor company, Second Chance Body Armor, blew the whistle on the production and sale of defective vests that were sold to police officers. Whistleblower attorneys supported by NWC represented Dr. Westrick in a False Claims Act qui tam complaint filed against the manufacturers of […]

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Sheila White

In 1999 Sheila White challenged her employer, Burlington Northern & Santa Fe (BNSF), a giant in the railway transportation industry, by filing charges of discrimination, sexual harassment and retaliation in the workplace against BNSF in the Western Tennessee. District Court (White v. Burlington Northern & Santa Fe Railway). The U.S. Supreme Court issued its unanimous […]

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Jeffrey Wigand

Dr. Jeffrey Wigand exposed safety problems related to the tobacco industry. In 1995, Dr. Wigand achieved national prominence when he became the tobacco industry’s highest ranking former executive to address public health and smoking issues. He blew the whistle on the industry’s disregard for the public’s health and safety during an interview with 60 MINUTES, as […]

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Dr. Frederic Whitehurst

Dr. Frederic Whitehurst is a former Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) scientist who exposed forensic fraud in the FBI’s crime lab, subjecting it to outside oversight for the first time. In 1997, Whitehurst won a landmark victory supported by NWC that culminated in the creation of the historic Presidential Executive Order ensuring whistleblower protections rights […]

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Howard Wilkinson

Howard Wilkinson is a former employee of Danske Bank who confidentially raised concerns over an illegal money laundering scheme in 2013. In September of 2018, news reports on the $234 billion scandals revealed the existence of a whistleblower but not the identity. Mr. Wilkinson had wished to remain anonymous, but his name was leaked to an […]

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Kimberly Young-McLear, Ph.D.

Kimberly Young-McLear, Ph.D. exposed gross misuse of power in how the Coast Guard handled bullying, harassment, and discrimination allegations. An investigation by the Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General substantiated that she had been retaliated against for her whistleblowing activity.  As a result of her whistleblowing, investigative loopholes for these types of claims […]

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