Whistleblower Protection Blog

Whistleblower Protection Blog

Advocating Whistleblower Rights for over Twenty Years

Understanding the Risks of Whistleblowing

Posted in Corporate Whistleblowers, News
Stephen M. Kohn

Stephen M. Kohn

In an article on the legal news website, Lawyers and Settlements, Stephen M. Kohn, Executive Director of the National Whistleblower Center, explains that statistics reveal that most employees “who witness fraud or and violations of the law and don’t report it.”  In the article entitled Before You Blow the Whistle—Read ThisKohn explains the importance of consulting an attorney well versed in whistleblower law prior to blowing the whistle.

Read the full article.

Related links:

NWLDEF Attorney Referral Service

The Whistleblower’s Handbook

Full Court Review Requested in KBR Contracting Fraud Case

Posted in Corporate Whistleblowers, False Claims / Qui Tam, News

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Whistleblower Seeks Release of Documents that
Demonstrated Contracting Fraud during the War in Iraq

Washington, D.C. July 28, 2014. Today, Mr. Harry Barko, a whistleblower who alleged that defense contractor KBR had engaged in widespread fraud during the War in Iraq, requested the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to review a major court ruling that impacts the integrity of corporate compliance programs nation-wide.

In the case, In re: Kellogg Brown & Root, Inc., et al, a three-judge panel of the Court ruled that corporations could keep internal corporate compliance records secret under the attorney-client privilege, even though the documents demonstrated widespread defense contracting fraud.  The documents in question contained direct evidence of bid-rigging, conflicts of interest, and overcharging the U.S. Government by KBR during the Iraq War.   Continue Reading

NWC Issues Action Alert to Save America’s Most Important Whistleblower Law

Posted in False Claims / Qui Tam

ReportCover

On July 25, 2014, the National Whistleblower Center issued the following Action Alert:

Demand that the House Judiciary Committee cancel the hearing on False Claims Act “reform” scheduled for July 30, 2014. If the Committee is determined to hold the hearing, then a member of the National Whistleblower Center should be invited to testify as a witness.

Urgent Action Needed!!

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce (“Chamber”) has declared a war against whistleblowers!  It has released a report, “Fixing the False Claims Act: the Case For Compliance-Focused Reforms,” setting forth proposals to strip millions of Americans from coverage under the Act, limit damages, increase the burden of proof on demonstrating fraud and establishing barriers to block employees from contacting the Justice Department.  Taken together, the Chamber’s “reforms” would completely undermine the False Claims Act. Continue Reading

FBI Whistleblower Jane Turner Discusses Her Whistleblowing Experiences

Posted in Government Whistleblowers, News
Jane Turner

Jane Turner

In an article on the legal news website, Lawyers and Settlements, FBI whistleblower Jane Turner discuses her whistleblowing experiences.  In the article “FBI Whistleblower Regrets Nothing,”  Turner says “It destroyed me to lose the job that meant so much to me.” However, “I thought if I don’t speak up, who will?” she stated.

Read the full article here.

Justice Department OIG: Number of Cases Impacted by FBI Lab Scandal “Is Really Unknown”

Posted in FBI Whistleblowers

On July 22, 2014, Cynthia Schnedar, Deputy Inspector General at the Justice Department, was interviewed by Federal News Radio about the DOJ OIG’s recent bombshell report documenting how DOJ failed to properly review criminal convictions that were impacted by the FBI Lab scandal in the 1990s.

Notably, the OIG report found that 16 people were executed and 8 prisoners died before there was a complete review of the scientific flaws in the evidence used to obtain those convictions. The OIG report lists 402 cases that the earlier DOJ review found were impacted by the FBI Lab scandal.

However, Deputy Inspector General Schnedar conceded in her radio interview that the number of cases actually impacted by the FBI Lab scandal “is really unknown” twenty years after the Justice Department started looking at problems in the FBI crime lab.

She also stated that many other defendants “may have died” or been deported before there was a review, and the DOJ’s earlier review improperly narrowed the scope leaving doubt as to whether innocent people were convicted with evidence from the FBI Lab.

Deputy IG Schnedar also stated in passing that the DOJ’s earlier review grew out of allegations raised by a FBI whistleblower. Continue Reading

Charlotte Observer Editorial Blasts FBI “malfeasance” In FBI Lab Scandal

Posted in FBI Whistleblowers, Forensic Justice

A major newspaper has published an editorial highly critical of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in light of the Justice Department Inspector General’s bombshell report on the FBI Lab scandal.  Last week, the DOJ IG documented serious flaws in the Justice Department’s review of thousands of criminal cases that were impacted by tainted forensic evidence from the FBI Lab.  As a result of the Justice Department’s serious lapses and delays in reviewing thousands of cases affected by the FBI Lab scandal, 16 people were executed and 8 prisoners died before there was a complete review of the scientific flaws in the evidence used to obtain those convictions.

As pointed out by the Charlotte Observer, the “malfeasance” of the FBI, and the lack of a thorough or professional review by the DOJ, raises serious questions as to how many innocent people remain in jail, and how many people have been executed, as a result of thousands of convictions that relied on flawed forensic evidence from the FBI Lab.   Continue Reading

Special Offer In Honor of National Whistleblower Appreciation Day

Posted in Events

Last year the U.S. Senate declared July 30, 2013 as “National Whistleblower Appreciation Day.”

“In honor of ‘National Whistleblower Appreciation Day’ we call upon the President of the United States, and every public institution in the United States, to publicly celebrate the courage and sacrifices whistleblowers have made to American democracy, and to widely publish the words enacted by our Founding Fathers on July 30, 1778:

That it is the duty of all persons in the service of the United States, as well as all other the inhabitants thereof, to give the earliest information to Congress or other proper authority of ay misconduct, frauds or misdemeanors committed by any officers or persons in the service of these states, which may come to their knowledge.’” 

The history behind the Founding Fathers’ support of whistleblowers was buried in the records of the
Continental Congress for over 200 years, and was only rediscovered as part of the research behind the book, The Whistleblower’s Handbook: A Step-by-Step Guide to Doing What’s Right and Protecting Yourself (3rd Ed. 2013, Lyons Press).    Continue Reading

Another FBI Lab Victim Is Found Innocent and Freed

Posted in FBI Whistleblowers, Forensic Justice

Additional Reviews of FBI Lab Scandal Still Needed 20 Years Later

On July 21, 2014, more than twenty years after a FBI whistleblower came forward to report serious problems at the FBI Lab that could impact thousands of cases, another FBI Lab scandal victim was found innocent and freed by the D.C. Superior Court.

Kevin Martin, age 50, spent 26 years in prison for crimes he did not commit.  He pleaded guilty to rape and murder under an Alford Plea (pleading guilty acknowledging the government has evidence of guilt but maintaining one’s innocence).  He did so only after his attorney was shown hair evidence that the FBI Lab had examined and claimed Martin’s hair matched a hair from the crime scene.  DNA testing has now proven the FBI’s claim to be false, resulting in Mr. Martin’s release and exoneration.

See Washington Post: Man exonerated in 1982 D.C. killing; DNA reveals FBI error in conviction

And Fox5 News:  Man officially exonerated in 1982 DC rape and murder

Significantly, Mr. Martin has maintained his innocence for more than 30 years, even after he accepted the Alford plea.  But nobody believed Mr. Martin until yesterday. Continue Reading

Fourth Anniversary of Dodd-Frank Finds Financial Reform Under Attack From Corporate America

Posted in Corporate Whistleblowers

Today, July 21, 2014, is the fourth anniversary of the passage of the Dodd-Frank Act — the most significant financial reform law enacted since the Great Depression to combat Wall Street and financial fraud.  However, the law is under attack from Wall Street and Corporate America, and its most important provisions are in danger.

Dodd-Frank was passed in 2010 in reaction to the financial crisis and stock market fallout from the Great Recession.  The federal government had to bail out major banks and corporations, and the President and many members of Congress felt obligated to make sure it would never happened again.

Part of those reforms was to include robust protections to encourage corporate whistleblowers to report financial fraud and securities violations.  As the Dodd-Frank Act was being written, attorneys with the National Whistleblower Center worked directly with the Senate Banking Commission to ensure that whistleblowers could maintain anonymity, protect their jobs, and receive monetary rewards as an incentive for providing critical information about financial fraud to the Securities Exchange Commission.  After the Dodd-Frank Act was signed into law, attorneys with the National Whistleblower Center also met directly with every Commissioner of the Securities and Exchange Commission and submitted written comments to the SEC that greatly influenced the shape of the final whistleblower rules for the SEC’s whistleblower program. Continue Reading

Updated SEC Whistleblower Awards List, July 2014

Posted in Corporate Whistleblowers, News

The SEC Office of the Whistleblower post 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, individuals have 90 calendar days to apply for an award.

View the updated list below. Continue Reading