Danske Bank Whistleblower EU testimony
Danske Bank whistleblower Howard Wilkinson testifies during hearing at the EU Parliament Brussels, Belgium November 21, 2018. https://www.whistleblowers.org
The now famous Danske Bank Whistleblower, Howard Wilkinson, testified before the TAX3 European Parliament Committee last week.

The statement was given on the day after the European Parliament’s legal affairs Committee adopted its report on the whistleblower protection Directive  – which was significantly stronger than expected.

Wilkinson reported suspicious financial transactions at Danske Bank’s Estonia branch, where he worked until 2014. It has been calculated that up to $20 billion in fraudulent financial activity have been brought to light by Wilkinson’s disclosures. Continue Reading Danske Bank whistleblower testifies at European Parliament

Howard Wilkinson Danish Parliament
Danske Bank whistleblower Howard Wilkinson and attorney Stephen Kohn speak to reporters outside hearing at the Danish parliament in Copenhagen, Denmark, November 19, 2018. ©Leslie Rose Photography

Former Employee’s Warnings Were Ignored by Danske Bank Officials

Today the Danish Parliament heard testimony from Howard Wilkinson, the lone whistleblower in the Danske Bank money laundering scandal. Outside the hearing room the hall was full of reporters looking for comment from Mr. Wilkinson and his whistleblower lawyer, Stephen M. Kohn.  Due to warnings from Danske Bank, which explicitly warned him that he could face criminal or civil prosecution for speaking on the money laundering issues, little has been heard from Mr. Wilkinson prior to today’s appearance. Continue Reading Danske Bank Whistleblower’s Testimony at Danish Parliament Causes Media Frenzy

Danske-Bank-Whistleblower-Howard-Wilkinson. <br>Source: www.kkc.com
Danske Bank Whistleblower Howard Wilkinson. Source: www.kkc.com

Washington, D.C. October 24, 2018. Attorneys for the Danske Bank whistleblower Howard Wilkinson announced that he will testify before both the Danish and European Parliaments.  Wilkinson is the former British trader from Danske Bank’s Estonia office who uncovered a massive money-laundering scandal involving billions of dollars flowing out of Russia and other former Soviet states.  Continue Reading Danske Bank Whistleblower to Testify before the Danish and European Parliaments

Danske-Bank-BuildingWashington, D.C. September 27, 2018. On September 26, 2018, an Estonian newspaper identified Howard Wilkinson as the Danske Bank whistleblower. Mr. Wilkinson is a former Danske Bank employee who confidentially raised concerns over an illegal money laundering scheme in 2013. Last week news reports on the $234 billion scandal revealed the existence of a whistleblower but not the identity. Continue Reading Attorneys for Danske Bank Whistleblower Demand Protection After Identity Leaked

Danske Bank Whistleblower EU testimony
Danske Bank whistleblower Howard Wilkinson testifies during hearing at the EU Parliament Brussels, Belgium November 21, 2018.

The news program 60 Minutes had a piece on the Danske bank scandal and whistleblower Howard Wilkinson on Sunday. He exposed Russian money laundering scheme at the bank’s Estonia branch that 60 Minutes said involves $230 billion.

The piece also features comments from Stephen M. Kohn,Wilkinson’s whistleblower attorney and the chair of the National Whistleblower Center. Both men say that the bank was failing to comply with law designed to prevent money laundering.

From the transcript:

Howard Wilkinson: Being named as a whistleblower in a case involving dirty Russian money. It’s not a good place to be.

Steve Kroft (of 60 Minutes) : You’re still concerned?

 Howard Wilkinson: You’ve gotta be, haven’t you? The very nature of the people who want to launder money probably means that they’re not the sort that you wanna go down the pub and have a pint with.

Continue Reading 60 Minutes: Danske whistleblower says bank ignored evidence of money laundering

Estonian Financial Supervision Authority logo
Seal of the Estonian EBFS

Danske Bank has been ordered to close its troubled Estonian branch before the end of 2019.  Estonian regulators noted on February 19 that the bank violated anti-money laundering regulations for many years by allowing high-risk money-laundering clients to make suspicious transactions through the bank.

In addition, they stated that Danske Bank misled the Estonian public authorities by providing them with inadequate information and thus actually hampered their investigation, according to a statement from the Estonian Board of Financial Supervision.

Danske Bank announced the same day that it is also closing banks in Latvia and Lithuania and Russia.

In a related move, the European Union Banking Authority has opened a formal investigation “into a possible breach of Union law by the Estonian Financial Services Authority and the Danish Financial Services Authority in connection with money laundering activities linked to Danske Bank and its Estonian branch in particular.”

Here’s a roundup of reaction and reporting:

“This is a lesson to corporate banks. Danske Bank made a grave error when it forced Mr. Wilkinson to sign a restrictive non-disclosure agreement, instead of working with Mr. Wilkinson in trying to fix the problems,” according to a statement from Kohn. Continue Reading A whistleblower exposed money laundering at Danske Bank’s Estonian branch. Now the government is shutting it down.

Danske Bank Whistleblower EU testimony
Danske Bank whistleblower Howard Wilkinson and whistleblower attorney Stephen M. Kohn testify during hearing at the EU Parliament Brussels, Belgium November 21, 2018. https://www.whistleblowers.org

Whistleblower’s Lawyer Calls for End to NDAs that Restrict Rights of Whistleblowers to Report Crimes to Law Enforcement

November 21, 2018. Washington, D.C.  In testimony given today in Brussels, Belgium before the European Parliament’s Special Committee on Financial Crimes, Tax Evasion and Tax Avoidance Danske, Bank whistleblower Howard Wilkinson testified concerning the contents of the nondisclosure agreement (NDA) he was required to sign as a condition of obtaining severance pay at the Danske Bank. Continue Reading Bank Whistleblower Releases Contents to Danske Bank Secrecy Agreement

Danske Bank Whistleblower
Danske Bank whistleblower Howard Wilkinson and attorney Stephen Kohn arrive to hearing at the Danish parliament in Copenhagen, Denmark, November 19, 2018. ©Leslie Rose Photography

November 20, 2018. Washington, D.C. On November 21, at 9:20am (Central European Standard Time – 3:30am Eastern Standard Time).  The Danske Bank money-laundering whistleblower Howard Wilkinson will testify before the European Parliament’s Special Committee on Financial Crimes, Tax Evasion and Tax Avoidance in Brussels, Belgium. Wilkinson, a former employee at Danske Bank’s Estonia office, uncovered a massive money-laundering scandal involving billions of dollars flowing out of Russia.  Continue Reading Bank Whistleblower to Testify before European Parliament on the International Scope of the Danske Bank Money Laundering Scandal

Last week, the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) held its annual conference, this time virtually due to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.

In his keynote address, whistleblower attorney Stephen M. Kohn spoke about the transnational use of U.S. whistleblower reward laws. Kohn, who currently represents Danske Bank Howard Wilkinson, is one of the nation’s leading whistleblower and qui tam attorneys.

Current European whistleblower laws in place cover protection from retaliation but do not incentivize insiders to come forward, Kohn said. Compensating whistleblowers with large monetary rewards results in high-quality tips, creating an effective system. “These laws work,” Kohn said. “And they pay.”

From Fraud Conference News: Are Rewards Necessary for Whistleblowers in Europe?

The New Yorker declares it the year of the whistleblower, and we offer some of our popular posts of 2019.

From The New Yorker:

This year, as one scandal after another played out in the news, it was easy to become overwhelmed. Amid all the noise, there’s been a common theme in many of the reports—the increased profile and significance of whistle-blowers. It’s hard to think of another recent period when the act of whistle-blowing has had such a consequential impact on our politics and culture.

From the Whistleblower Protection Blog:

Ukraine whistleblower
  • Can the Ukraine call whistleblower remain anonymous? And, who is obligated to protect his or her anonymity?
  • The journalist and the whistleblower. Every journalist who has ever worked with a whistleblower knows these are fraught relationships.
  • Remember when the whistleblower complaint was seen as “hearsay”? Turns out secondhand whistleblower “reports are 47.7% more likely than firsthand reports to be substantiated by management, which suggests that management views many secondhand reports as credible.“
Climate Corruption Campaign
  • NWC announces new program; Only company insiders would know of climate change-related risks concealed from shareholders, the IRS and the public. The campaign will help these insiders secure confidential whistleblower status.
  • More here. Can whistleblowers save the Amazon rainforest?
Ernie Fitzgerald
Government Contracting
Money laundering
More environmental whistleblowers
Illustration: Tinker ReadyHealth care
  • of pain clinics that abruptly shut down last summer faces five whistleblower lawsuits accusing it of defrauding Medicare by billing for hundreds of unnecessary urine drug tests.
  • Duke University pays $112 million fine in faulty research case.
EU
  • In April, the European Union approved whistleblower protection rule.

 

IRS

Do I Have A Good Case For The IRS Whistleblower Program?

Elijah Cummings

1951–2019: Whistleblowers lose a champion