WASHINGTON, D.C. | December 9, 2019—The nonprofit, nonpartisan National Whistleblower Center (NWC) today launched a new Climate Corruption Campaign to enlist whistleblowers in the fight against fraud and other crimes in the three industry sectors responsible for the vast majority of the world’s carbon pollution: oil and gas, coal, and industrial logging. The launch of the campaign coincides with the UN-designated International Anti-Corruption Day and the ongoing UN Climate Change Conference in Madrid.
The Climate Corruption Campaign will be the first sustained effort to educate potential whistleblowers in the fossil fuel and industrial logging industries about their rights under whistleblower laws, including to keep their identities confidential. It will help these whistleblowers secure qualified attorneys, participate in high-impact prosecutions and win financial rewards when those prosecutions are successful. The campaign also will work in the policy arena to strengthen whistleblower rights.
NWC will give particular focus to assisting company insiders with evidence of potential fraudulent concealment of industry pollution risks, including risks to financial assets.
Helping whistleblowers navigate will be NWC’s newly recruited Chief Counsel, Sharon Eubanks, a corruption expert who served as lead counsel in the largest-ever civil RICO enforcement case, U.S. v. Philip Morris USA. Ms. Eubanks recently testified before Congress on the linkages between the organized deception campaigns of the tobacco and fossil fuel industries.
“Individuals working in the fossil fuel and logging industries with evidence of fraud and other law-breaking in their companies should know that there are safe ways to report crime without losing their jobs,” said John Kostyack, NWC Executive Director. “Our campaign will help secure for whistleblowers protections from retaliation and, where feasible, rewards for helping prosecutors win large-scale penalties.” Kostyack offered additional thoughts on NWC’s blog.
NWC Board Chairman Stephen Kohn stated: “Law enforcement officials have long known that if you want to learn about crime, you need whistleblowers. Now is the time to incentivize whistleblowers who know about crimes in the fossil fuel and industrial logging industries to step forward so that law enforcement agencies can do their jobs and rein in corruption.”
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