It’s Time for Facebook to be Sanctioned for Misleading Shareholders and the Public About Terror and Hate Speech on its Website 

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) now has all the information it needs to sanction Facebook for its dishonesty about terror and hate content on its website, thanks to a petition filed by a whistleblower working with the National Whistleblower Center (NWC).  Today, the Associated Press published an explosive story describing and confirming the key findings in the petition. 
Continue Reading

Retaliation against whistleblowers takes many forms.  A little person working at the White House recently reported a supervisor moved files to a high shelf out of her reach. Others report being followed, shunned, smeared, fired and worse. Whistleblowers often find themselves in a hostile work environment.

Julie Myers Wood, a corporate compliance consultant, thinks that works against both whistleblowers and their employers. In-house reporting programs with whistleblower protections built in are the way to go, writes Wood, who has a resume filled with high level federal government positions.

Institutions must shift their mindsets to view the reporting of regulatory problems as an opportunity to shine by addressing the problem, improving the institution and preventing large settlements. 

In a column posted on the Forbes website Monday, she suggests companies work with whistleblowers to both protect the company and strengthen compliance.

Companies need to get to a place where they embrace the potential whistleblower by creating a transparent culture, instilling the shared value of compliance at all levels.

Her advice is not aimed at whistleblowers, some of whom have had bad experiences with in-house hotlines. Advocates suggest employees approach internal reporting systems carefully – they are there to protect the company and can be used against whistleblowers.

Wood encourages the development of internal reporting programs with the message – let’s try to keep this in house. For companies, that is a good thing. But whistleblowers have found that internal reporting isn’t always effective or to their advantage. They have other options. Working with law enforcement or government agencies, they can remain anonymous in many cases and often qualify for a reward.  
Continue Reading

From Feb.1 “International Conference on Anticorruption Policies” took place in Attica, Greece on Feb. 1. Sponsored by the Hellenic Anti-Corruption Organization.  Speakers at the meeting included Vladimir Hrle from the European Criminal Bar Association, Ciro Stazzeri from Global Infrastructure Anti-Corruption Center-Italy, Mia Rupcic of the Antibribery Academy International and George Patoulis, MD, the President of Central Union of Municipalities of Greece and NWC director and Washington-based lawyer Stephen M. Kohn.

Several US whistleblower laws have international applications that have been used to fight fraud and corruption worldwide.

The laws are key to anti-bribery efforts, and insider disclosures have already resulted in millions of dollars in fines in the U.S. and beyond, Washington-based lawyer Stephen M. Kohn told a group of international anti-corruption organizations on Friday, February 1.

The “International Conference on Anticorruption Policies” took place in Attica, Greece and was sponsored by the Hellenic Anti-Corruption Organization. Kohn, who is director of the National Whistleblowers Center, was one of the speakers.

Security and Exchange Commission (SEC), and IRS anti-fraud laws, the False Claims Act (FCA) and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) can all be applied internationally.

But whistleblowers need to be rewarded and protected from retribution, Kohn said.  He has urged the European Parliament to strengthen its proposed whistleblower directive to protect the identity of anonymous whistleblowers.

U.S. whistleblower programs allow for the protection of witnesses and detection of corrupt activities, including bribes paid to politicians by multi-national corporations, Kohn said. Penalties act to deter fraud and bribery.

Without these programs, the costs of exposing fraud and bribery is prohibitive, Kohn said.


Continue Reading

Much of the $234 billion laundered through the Danske Bank started in Russia and ended in the U.S, as dollars, a whistleblower told the European Parliament in November.

Rep. McHenry

Now, a growing number of U.S. investigators want to know more. Last week, the heads of two congressional committees asked Deutsche Bank for information related to its lending practices and its role in a series of money laundering scandals, according to several news reports. Federal agencies are asking questions too.

The House is preparing to investigate Deutsche Bank’s handling of suspicious transactions from Denmark’s Danske Bank, according to a report in Politico.  Danske Bank is now is under investigation in relation to a massive, international money laundering scheme involving its Estonian branch banks.
Continue Reading

Laws on the books designed to protect wildlife whistleblowers have been underutilized, according to a spring report from the Government Accounting Office.  Now, two groups devoted to wildlife protection have joined with the National Whistleblower Center to help ensure that U.S. agencies use the tools they have to protect animals and fisheries and prevent trafficking.

Thinking Animals United is an advocacy group that works “to galvanize worldwide support for the care, protection, and conservation of animals and other species.”  It has signed an agreement with the NWC to “develop joint endeavors, and exchange information with regards to addressing the relationship between environmental crime, economic growth, and national security,” according to a statement from the two groups.
Continue Reading

International Anti-Corruption DayIn honor of International Anti-Corruption Day 2018 on December 9th, Maya Efrati, Policy Counsel for the National Whistleblower Center looks back at the past year to review the significant efforts made on behalf of whistleblowers around the world.

* * *

The National Whistleblower Center (NWC), the nation’s top whistleblower advocacy group, has led the fight for whistleblower protections and rewards for over 30 years. This past year, the NWC frequently worked with anti-corruption activists and dedicated governments officials worldwide to help build effective anti-corruption programs as part of its outreach to international whistleblowers. The NWC understands that anti-corruption work can be most effective only when it is a unified global approach, as reflected in this year’s theme for International Anti-Corruption Day: “United Against Corruption”.
Continue Reading

Anti-CorruptionInternational Anti-Corruption Day recognizes the critical fight against fraud and corruption.

This coming Sunday, December 9, the United Nations and anti-corruption organizations around the world will celebrate International Anti-Corruption Day. The joint global campaign, “United Against Corruption,” focuses on how corruption impacts rich and poor countries alike and must be addressed through a unified international approach.
Continue Reading

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 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

Whistleblower Lawyer Stephen M. Kohn
Whistleblower attorney Stephen Kohn. ©Leslie Rose Photography

Qui Tam attorney Stephen Kohn asked to offer Expert Testimony on “best practice” for European Whistleblower Law

November 21, 2018. Washington, D.C.  The attorney for Danske Bank money-laundering whistleblower Howard Wilkinson has been invited to testify before the European Parliament’s Special Committee on Financial crimes, Tax Evasion and Tax Avoidance in Brussels, Belgium as an expert witness on whistleblower rights. 
Continue Reading