Whistleblowers are becoming far more common with men and women coming forward on a regular basis to report financial fraud and other irregularities that have created a serious cause for concern.
The decision to become a whistleblower is never an easy one. For those people still employed by the company that they wish to report on, they are likely be shunned by other employees and upper management, see their career path curtailed, and quite possibly lose their job.
Commonly in such cases, job termination can be cited as being “for personal issues”, “poor job performance” or even “sexual harassment” with the employer reaching for straws to find any excuse to fire the employee.
In many cases, a company will set about ensuring that the person can never work in the same industry again, may harass them where they live, and take other acts of retribution for an unspecified period of time.
The National Whistleblower Center is a place that provides information and support for whistleblowers who wish to report illegal activities. The importance of legislation covering whistleblowing is demonstrated by the first law created by the Founding Fathers on July 30th, 1778 known as the Whistleblower Protection Law.
The Senate Whistleblower Protection Caucus is a recent step for members of the Senate to meet to discuss ways to ensure whistleblowers are protected from outside threats, intimidation, and other actions intended to shock them into silence rather than reveal what they know.
An event was held on July 30th at the National Whistleblower Center which was attended by one congresswoman and seven senators who banded together in a unique celebration of whistleblowers nationwide.
Senator Wyden is part of the Senate Whistleblower Protection Caucus which has only recently been formed to protect the progress made towards a more open governmental and regulatory structure that ensures both men and women can come forward safely.
Wyden said in a speech which was well received that the Caucus “truly appreciated whistleblowers” and felt that people stepping forward ensured a better country for all. The purpose of the Whistleblower Caucus, Wyden said, was to provide assurances to the public that they could speak up when they wish to report something as improper and when doing so, the government would be supportive.
A non-binding resolution was passed by the Senate for the third year in a row to mark July 30th as National Whistleblower Appreciation Day.
Congress should pass new legislation to ensure the head of each federal agency participate in National Whistleblower Appreciation Day to make clear from the top down that whistleblowers are necessary and appreciated. They should also go on record to cite how whistleblowers have helped to improve American democracy and improve their own federal agencies by removing abuse, enforcing laws, and dealing effectively with fraud and wasteful spending.
You all have probably heard already for a term Whistle-blower. Whistle-blowers are giving information about some confidential or important documents and information. The term whistle blower exists for a few years but so called traitors and spies existed for centuries. There are whistle-blowers which are working for government and against it. There are many cases of whistle blowers in US which are facing prison because of their deeds. They’ve spoken to the press about all sorts of confidential information and documents. The most important names are Julian Assange, the Australian programmer and founder of WikiLeaks, Edward Snowden, ex CIA officer and he spoke about global surveillance and Chelsea Manning, a United States soldier stationed in Iraq and sentenced in the US because of transferring some important documents to the enemy. These men were against the country but when you are speaking for American government then you can expect all sorts of benefits from them.
In the United States of America there is a law which provides whistle blowers all sorts of rights. If you are whistle blowing against your boss in your company, then that is all right but if you are presenting some important information about the national security then probably your constitutional rights will be lowered. Here are some protected whistle blowers in the United States. Vladimir Bukovsky is one of the most known. He was a Soviet neurophysiologist and dissident. In his lifetime psychiatry was used to eliminate political opponents. He was against this and he was smuggled to the West with the 150 pages of documented psychiatrically torture of prisoners by the Soviets. He sold it to The Times magazine.
You have not probably heard of MordechaiVanunu. He revealed Israel’s nuclear program and its nuclear arsenal. He spent seventeen years in prison for that. He said that information’s to the British press. Later he went to Italy where he was tricked by Mosad agents. Drugged and abducted, he was secretly transported to Israel. There was a secret trial behind the doors and they sentenced him to seventeen years. Scottish Prime Minister urged for realising Vanunu.
These are all stories about whistle-blowers and their lives. They are protected only in some cases and in most of the cases they will face some penalty. We should all be thankful to them because of their ability and strength to stand up against the system and speak for their own rights or the rights of other people. They spent a good part of their life in prison.
Whistle-blowers are risking their lives and family all for nothing but the truth. They inspired all sorts of people of all generations to ask themselves does the government place real information about world events or not. Sometimes these stories about story tellers evolve into a real conspiracy theory.
When it comes to ethics, a person is aware of its actions and the consequences and again they are doing this for some moral reasons. Their moral principles are quite high and we should thank them, they didn’t want to be just one of whistleblower news.
A jury in a trial over poorly conceived mortgages at Countrywide Financial found parent company Bank of America liable for fraud.
Edward O’Donnell, a former executive with Countrywide Financial, was the whistle-blower who accused Countrywide of wide-spread fraud on Fannie Mai government-secured mortgage deals. The case stemmed on whether the mortgages that Countrywide sold to Fannie Mai were actually of the quality that was either expected or implied in the transaction. In most cases, this was not a reasonable conclusion.
The former executive was awarded $57 million by a jury of his peers, based on documents from the federal court on the case known as “Hustle” based on the Countrywide process used to package up the mortgages for sale to Fannie Mai.
Bank of America (stock symbol: BAC) inherited many of the problems of sub-prime lender Countrywide Financial when it acquired the company in 2008 for $4 billion. Since this time, the parent company has had to spend tens of billions in write-downs of debt, buybacks on loans, and ongoing litigation.
Back in July 2015, a New York federal judge made an order for Bank of America to cough up a $1.27 billion penalty fine relating to this case. The bank continues in its appeal of that verdict and so at the present time no monies have been paid out by Bank of America towards the fine.
In related news, a second case filed back in June 2015 was taking aim at another Countrywide unit that was accused of defrauding both Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. In that case, home loans was the financial package sold as a high quality financial package. Bank of America had agreed to pay $350 million to settle the matter once and for all.
This case settlement was included in a broader settlement amounting to $17 billion that Bank of America agreed to back in August 2015. This settlement resolves issues with mortgages that were sold as financial packages prior to the beginning of the 2008-2009 financial crisis.
Documents relating to the settlement dealt in specifics on the cases, but the whistleblowers were not named so it is not known if the settlement will be shared with more than one whistleblower. New documents confirmed that O’Donnell will benefit from 16 percent of the agreed settlement, plus $1.6 million more.
The surprisingly large settlement including the part that is being paid over to the known whistleblower stems from the False Claims Act which rewards whistleblowers with between 15 to 25 percent of recoveries from monies recovered from reported frauds and other illegal activities. A federal judge had however ruled out the False Claims Act proportion in the “Hustle” case ahead of the trial, which means that O’Donnell will receive the maximum of $1.6 million in that case. David Wasinger, O’Donnell’s lawyer noted that this helped to make Wall Street more accountable.
A spokesperson at the Bank of America confirmed that the issue is now completely resolved. He refused to comment on “unfounded assertions” that were contained in the lawsuit. The U.S. Attorney’s office did not wish to comment on the case.