Today is UN World Wildlife Day, which marks the day that the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), was signed in 1973. Celebrated globally, World Wildlife Day raises awareness of the importance of our world’s wild animals and plants, and is more crucial now than ever before.
On February 9th the Environmental Law Institute (ELI), in partnership with the National Whistleblower Center, hosted the first seminar in a two-part series on wildlife whistleblowing. “Harnessing the Power of Whistleblowers: Combating Wildlife Crime” focused on the vital role that whistleblowers play in the fight against global wildlife trafficking. Panelists included Stephen M. Kohn, Executive Director of The National Whistleblower Center; Crawford Allan, Senior Director of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF); and Alexander (Sascha) Von Bismark Executive Director of the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA).
In a press release issued today, attorneys for a husband and wife tax fraud whistleblowers, expressed optimism that President Trump’s pick for Secretary of Treasury Steve Mnuchin would show support for the IRS Whistleblower Office by not appealing a the Tax Court’s decision in Whistleblower 21276-13W v. CIR (147 TC 4).
The full press release is reprinted below: Continue Reading
REGISTRATION NOW OPEN! National Whistleblower Center (NWC) and the Environmental Law Insitutte (ELI) are hosting a seminar series on wildlife whistleblowing this February 2017. The first seminar in the series, “Harnessing the Power of Whistleblowers: Combating Wildlife Crime” will explore enabling whistleblowers around the world to improve the enforcement of over 44 wildlife laws. The second seminar will address technical skills for lawyers seeking to represent wildlife whistleblowers and is scheduled for March 28, 2017.
Please join us for the first seminar on February 9, 2017, 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm, at ELI:
1730 M Street, NW, Suite 700 (Directions), Washington, DC (and webinar).
For more information and to register for the first seminar, please visit https://www.eli.org/events/harnessing-power-whistleblowers-combating-wildlife-crime.
Washington, D.C. January 26, 2017. The National Whistleblower Center (NWC) announced today that it received a significant grant from The Wildcat Foundation. This grant will provide primary funding for the NWC’s Global Wildlife Whistleblower Program. The NWC’s emerging Global Wildlife Whistleblower Program counters wildlife crime and promotes conservation by harnessing the power of whistleblower reward laws.
On Friday, January 6th 2017, the National Whistleblower Center filed an Amicus Brief before the Tenth Circuit in Genberg v. Porter. The Genberg case deals with the definition of reasonable belief under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX). SOX requires whistleblowers to have a reasonable belief that a violation has happened or might happen in the future in order to be protected. Consequently, the standard for reasonable belief has wide-reaching consequences for whistleblowers reporting on corporate fraud and misconduct. The principal author of the brief, Stephen M. Kohn, writes about the case below:
January 19th, 2017, today, the Senate Finance Committee held a hearing to consider President-Elect Trump’s pick for the Secretary of the Treasury, Steven Mnuchin. The National Whistleblower Center asked its supporters to insist that the Senators of the Finance Committee use the hearing to find out whether or not Mr. Mnuchin was committed to protecting whistleblowers who report to the IRS.
The White House announced today that President Obama commuted the prison sentence of whistleblower Chelsea Manning. Manning was convicted of stealing and disseminating government documents and videos to WikiLeaks. Continue Reading
This morning, National Whistleblower Center (NWC) Executive Director Stephen Kohn addressed the Federal Advisory Council on Wildlife Trafficking, a group of private sector experts charged with advising the Presidential Task Force on a multi-pronged approach to combat wildlife trafficking. The Task Force, co-chaired by the Secretary of State, Secretary of the Interior, and the Attorney General (or designees thereof), was created through Executive Order 13648 and recently codified in the Eliminate, Neutralize and Disrupt [END] Wildlife Trafficking Act of 2016. Kohn presented on harnessing the power of wildlife whistleblower reward laws to reverse the extinction crisis. Continue Reading
Senator Sessions: “It’s not acceptable to retaliate against a whistleblower.”
Washington, D.C. January 12, 2017. The U.S. Department of Justice manages many of America’s most important whistleblower programs, including the False Claims Act (“FCA”) anti-fraud law. The Senate Judiciary Committee’s confirmation hearing of of President-Elect Trump’s nominee for Attorney General began on Tuesday. Sen. Chuck Grassley, Chairman of the Committee and long-time advocate of whistleblower rights, asked Sen. Jeff Sessions to confirm, on the record, his commitment to encouraging whistleblowers to step forward and to aggressively pursue fraud cases under the FCA.