Whistleblower Protection Blog

Whistleblower Protection Blog

Advocating Whistleblower Rights for over Twenty Years

IRS Whistleblower Program Continues Improvements

Posted in Tax Whistleblowers
Whistleblower Program Fiscal Year 2015 Report to Congress

This was a banner year for the Internal Revenue Services’ Whistleblower Program. In its annual report to Congress, released February 10, 2016, the IRS said it paid 99 awards totaling more than $103 million.

Stephen M. Kohn, Executive Director of the National Whistleblower Center, stated, “the program is staring to work.” According to Kohn, the IRS Program, at its 10-year mark, is performing at higher level then the Department of Justice’s False Claims Act program did over a comparable length of time. Continue Reading

National Whistleblower Center Project Wins People’s Choice Award

Posted in Wildlife Crime Whistleblowers
Wildlife Crime Tech Challenge

Protections for wildlife whistleblowers greatly enhanced

Washington, D.C. February 10, 2016.  The Wildlife Crime Tech Challenge announced that the National Whistleblower Center won its People’s Choice competition.  The National Whistleblower Center’s “Secured Internet Wildlife Crime Reporting System” received the most votes in the worldwide competition.

The NWC’s project was one of 44 projects from around the world eligible for the People’s Choice competition. NWC was also recently named one of 16 Challenge Prize Winners.

“Winning this vote is a huge victory for whistleblowers and wildlife protection.  It demonstrates that people from around the world strongly support whistleblowers, and understand that incentivizing the reporting of illegal wildlife trafficking is key to stopping the destruction of protected forests, the killing of endangered species and the protection of fish from illegal and unregulated fishing,” said Stephen M. Kohn, Executive Director of the National Whistleblower Center. Continue Reading

Swiss Bank Whistleblower Calls for Switzerland to Protect Whistleblowers

Posted in Tax Whistleblowers
Bradley Birkenfeld

Swiss bank whistleblower Bradley Birkenfeld was featured yesterday in an article detailing the extremely hostile environment that exists in Switzerland toward whistleblowers. In the article Birkenfeld states that change is “long overdue” for the country which has prosecuted several whistleblowers in recent years. Continue Reading

National Whistleblower Center Wins Wildlife Crime Tech Challenge Award

Posted in News, Wildlife Crime Whistleblowers
Protect wildlife crime whistleblowers

Washington D.C., USA. January 21, 2016—The Wildlife Crime Tech Challenge program, an initiative of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in partnership with the National Geographic Society, the Smithsonian Institution, and TRAFFIC, announced today that the National Whistleblower Center’s “Secured Internet Wildlife Crime Reporting System” is one of the Wildlife Crime Challenge prize winners.

Launched in 2014, the Wildlife Crime Tech Challenge is finding new, innovative solutions to the most intractable issues in the fight against wildlife trafficking. The award today recognizes the critical role that whistleblowers can play in detecting wildlife crimes and holding criminal smugglers accountable. Continue Reading

October – December 2015 SEC Whistleblower Awards List

Posted in Claim SEC Award

The SEC Office of the Whistleblower posts Notices of Covered Action where a final judgment or order, by itself or together with other prior judgments or orders in the same action issued after July 21, 2010, results in monetary sanctions exceeding $1 million. Subject to the Final Rules, individuals who voluntarily provided the Commission with original information after July 21, 2010 that led to the successful enforcement of a covered action listed below are eligible to apply for a whistleblower award. Once a Notice of Covered Action is posted by the SEC, individuals have 90 calendar days to apply for an award.

View the updated list below:   Continue Reading

SEC Awards Company Outsider $700,000

Posted in Claim SEC Award, News
SEC Says Employees Protected For Internal Whistleblowing

Washington, D.C. January 15, 2016. The Securities and Exchange Commission issued a landmark award to an industry expert who provided it with “high-quality analysis” in an enforcement action.  The whistleblower award of more than $700,000 marks the first time the SEC has issued an award to someone outside a company since the whistleblower office opened in 2011.
Continue Reading

Tell DOL: White Collar Criminals Don’t Deserve an Early Warning System

Posted in Department of Labor, News

The Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has fallen for a trap laid by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

The Chamber and its big corporate allies have led a long campaign dedicated to eroding protections for whistleblowers who report crimes. One of their favorite tactics is to try to get whistleblowers to report issues to the company’s attorneys or other company-led programs. They want to discourage reporting to law enforcement authorities, making it harder to rein in corruption on Wall Street and Corporate America at large.

Now the Chamber of Commerce is at it again and they’ve roped in OSHA to support them.

Take Action: tell the DOL they need to protect whistleblowers. Continue Reading

OSC Withdraws Proposed Rule That May Have Had Unintended Consequences for Federal Contractors

Posted in False Claims / Qui Tam, National Security, News
OSC Withdraws Proposed Rule That Have Harmed Federal Contractors

In January 2015, the Office of Special Counsel (OSC) submitted a proposed rule it claimed would extend protections under the Civil Service Reform Act and the Whistleblower Protection Act to employees of Federal contractors.  The National Whistleblower Center filed a public comment on March 23, 2015, stating that the proposed rule could cause more harm than good for employees of federal contractors and asked the OSC to withdraw the proposed rule.

On December 30, 2015, the OSC filed a notice in the Federal Register to withdraw the proposed rule.

David Colapinto, NWC General Counsel and author of the NWC’s public rule making comment, discussed the proposed rule and OSC’s decision to withdraw with Federal News Radio. You can read the entire interview here. Continue Reading

Monetary Rewards for Wildlife Whistleblowers A Breakthrough for Environmental Protection

Posted in Environmental Whistleblowers, News, Wildlife Crime Whistleblowers
Monetary Rewards for Wildlife Whistleblowers A Breakthrough for Environmental Protection

Washington, D.C. January 4, 2016. The Environmental Law Reporter published an article that explains how the monetary rewards provisions for whistleblowers in both the Lacey Act and the Endangered Species Act can have a massive impact on the detection and deterrence of wildlife crimes. The article, “Monetary Rewards for Wildlife Whistleblowers: A Game-Changer in Wildlife Trafficking Detection and Deterrence,” published on January 1, 2016 was written by Stephen M. Kohn, a founder of the National Whistleblower Center. Continue Reading

False Claims Act Settlements October 2015, part 1

Posted in False Claims / Qui Tam

The Department of Justice announced settlements in the following False Claims Act lawsuits:

United States Settles False Claims Act Suit against Guardian Hospice and Related Entities

Guardian Hospice of Georgia LLC, Guardian Home Care Holdings Inc. and AccentCare Inc. (collectively Guardian) agreed to pay $3 million to resolve allegations that Guardian knowingly submitted false claims to the Medicare program for hospice patients who were not terminally ill. Guardian is a for-profit hospice which provides hospice services in Atlanta. Continue Reading