Wildlife trafficking on Facebook took a hit last week, with  Agence France-Press (AFP) reporting that five men were arrested in Indonesia in connection with selling Komodo dragons and other wild animals through Facebook

According to AFP:

The vast Southeast Asian archipelago nation’s dense tropical rainforests boast some of the highest levels of biodiversity in the world and it has for years been a key source and transit point for animal trafficking.

East Java police said they arrested the suspects on Java island for allegedly trafficking the large lizard, as well as bearcats, cockatoos and cassowary birds. The Komodo dragons can be sold for $1,000 to $1,400 each, they told AFP.  
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Two SEC whistleblowers have been awarded a total of $50 million for exposing conflict-of-interest problems with investment advisors at JPMorgan Chase Bank

The Securities and Exchange Commission announced the awards but did not offer any details of the case. However, lawyers for one whistleblower revealed it involved a 2015 $267 million settlement with the bank.

JPMorgan Chase Bank advisors invested clients’ money in JPMorgan hedge funds and mutual funds without properly disclosing the conflicts of interest, According to the 2015 settlement, some of the funds produced less revenue than other investments.

In an announcement of the award, Jane Norberg, head of SEC’s whistleblower program, wrote that insiders can “be the source of ‘smoking gun’ evidence and indispensable assistance that strengthens the agency’s ability to protect investors and the capital markets.”

One whistleblower won $13 million and the other received $37  million. The SEC announcement noted that the latter award was the third-highest award to date after the $50 million March 2018 award and a September 2018  $39 million award.


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SEC Whistleblower RewardsOn Wednesday, December 12, 2018, National Whistleblower Center (NWC) Executive Director Stephen M. Kohn made a formal presentation to representatives from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) opposing the proposed SEC rule  limiting awards in major fraud cases.  Kohn was joined by NWC Policy Counsel Maya Efrati and NWC Legal Fellow Sarah Khan. The packed room included SEC leadership from the Office of General Counsel, the SEC Whistleblower Office and the Office of the Chairman of the Commission. The meeting lasted for over one hour.
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SEC-Building-DCThe Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) recently published its annual report on the SEC Whistleblower program. According to the report, in 2018 the SEC paid the largest amount of whistleblower awards in the program’s history, with payouts totaling $168 million. This year the SEC whistleblower program also gave its largest whistleblower award to date, $84 million. Many of those receiving the reward were company outsiders and non-U.S. residents.
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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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SEC-Whistleblower-Building
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Photo credit Diego Radzinschi

Washington, D.C. – September 21, 2018.  The public comment period for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) proposed amendments to the rules governing its successful whistleblower program closed on Tuesday, September 18.  More than 99% of the comments posted on the SEC’s public comment page oppose the proposed rules. 
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Full transparency needed evaluate the Commission’s proposed rules.

sec-whistleblower-program-front-building

Washington, D.C.  September 17, 2018.  Today the National Whistleblower Center (NWC), the nation’s leading whistleblower advocacy group, formally requested the U.S. Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) to extend the public comment period for proposed changes to the SEC Whistleblower Program
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Whistleblower on CBS show

On Friday, August 31, CBS News will air a segment featuring biofuels fraud whistleblower, Alex “Sasha” Chepurko on the season finale of Whistleblower.  The episode, Case of “THE 100 Million Dollar Scam”, details Chepurko’s incredible story of blowing the whistle on a nationwide biofuels scam.
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International-Map-of-SEC-Crimes-Reported-foreign-corrupt-practice-act
International tips are crucial to the SEC’s law enforcement capabilities. From 2011 to 2017, the SEC received a total of 2,655 whistleblowers from 113 countries. This map shows the countries as well as the frequency of those tips.

Washington, D.C. August 30, 2018. Today, the National Whistleblower Center (“NWC”) released a report analyzing data from Foreign Corrupt Practice Act (“FCPA”) cases since the law was passed in 1977, including several cases decided in 2018.

The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act is one of the most important whistleblower laws, especially for foreign nationals and for combatting corruption and bribery occurring on foreign soil. The FCPA prohibits companies issuing stock in the U.S. – and their subsidiaries – from bribing foreign officials to win contracts and other business.
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On June 29, 2018 the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced proposed amendments that undermine the rules governing its successful whistleblower program.

National Whistleblower Center (NWC) has issued an action alert urging commentary on these proposed amendments. The SEC proposal puts caps on rewards related to cases resulting in $100 million or more in fines. This removes the incentive to blow the whistle on large corporations committing fraud, and consequently will allow large corporate fraud to go unreported and unpunished.


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