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 U.S. laws and strong international whistleblower programs could bolster anti-corruption efforts worldwide    

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 A whistleblower said laundered money made it from Russia to the US. Lawmakers here want to know how.

Whistleblowers in the European Union will be at risk of retaliation unless they can report crimes to regulators and law enforcement without first reporting them internally.

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

That is the message from Stephen M. Kohn in an article published Wednesday on the website of Whistleblowerprotection.eu. Kohn, a Washington-based lawyer represents Danske Bank whistleblower Howard Wilkinson.

Kohn writes that a fundamental principle in whistleblower law is the protection of employees who come forward.

Common sense dictates that reports directly to government officials must be protected. For example, if you are looking out your window, and see youthful offender mugged a senior citizen, you do not call the young person’s parent. You call the police. The same goes for corporate crime. If a company is stealing from its investors, or engaging in money laundering, illegal secret banking or other offenses, it is clearly important to report these crimes directly to the police as quickly as possible Continue Reading The EU should follow the U.S. lead on whistleblowers — protect insiders by allowing them to report crimes directly to outside agencies

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 Wildlife whistleblowers and advocates collaborate to “strengthen capacity to implement and enforce environmental requirements.”

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.

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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 The National Whistleblower Center Leads Anti-Corruption Efforts Worldwide on Behalf of Whistleblowers

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 National Whistleblower Center Supports Global Anti-Corruption Efforts

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

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

 

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 Bank Whistleblower’s Attorney to Testify before European Parliament

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