Protecting Foreign Whistleblowers. Here you will find the latest news, stories, cases, and events of international whistleblowers.

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.
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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
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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.
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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”.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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. 
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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. 
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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.
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