Three Canadian whistleblowers have been awarded more than $7 million, the first payment of its kind by the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC).

Whistleblower graphic “These individuals voluntarily provided high quality, timely, specific and credible information, which helped advance enforcement actions resulting in monetary payments to the OSC,” according to a statement from the Canadian agency.

To protect the identity of the whistleblowers, the agency did not release names or any information on the cases.

The OSC whistleblower program was established in 2016 and reports that it is the only Canadian securities whistleblower program offering financial awards. The office reported that, as of July 2018, it had received more than 200 tips.

Stephen M. Kohn, director of the National Whistleblower Center in Washington, notes in a statement that the award is a breakthrough for whistleblowers worldwide.

“Canada becomes the first country after the United States to recognize that substantial whistleblower rewards are the key to fraud detection and successful prosecutions,” Kohn wrote. “We hope that other advanced democratic nations follow this lead and enact qui tam laws similar to those in the United States.”  Continue Reading A Canadian whistleblower program targeting financial crime pays off

Washington, D.C. January 21, 2015. The National Whistleblower Center issued a statement today highly critical of the Canadian Offshore Tax Informant Program.

“Unfortunately it is likely to fail,” stated Stephen M. Kohn, the executive director of the National Whistleblower Center.

National Whistleblower Center’s Statement on Canada’s Offshore Tax Informant Program:  Continue Reading NWC Issues Statement On Canada’s Offshore Tax Informant Program

The Canada Revenue Agency announced the launch of the Offshore Tax Informant Program (OTIP), on January 15, 2014. The measure is intended to crack down on international tax evasion and aggressive tax avoidance. The whistleblower program will pay cash rewards to individuals who give tips on international tax evasion.

Under OTIP:

  • the information an individual gives the CRA will be reviewed to decide if there is evidence of major international tax non-compliance that would ultimately lead to additional taxes being assessed and collected;

  • the CRA will enter into a contract with the individual if the potential additional assessment of federal tax, excluding interest and penalties, is more than $100,000;

  • a payment will be made to the individual after the tax debt has been collected and all recourse rights associated with the assessed tax have expired; and

  • a payment will not be made to an individual who has been convicted of tax evasion related to the information provided.

The rewards will only be paid if the tipster can show “major international tax non-compliance” such as undeclared Canadian taxable income that has been transferred outside Canada or undeclared foreign taxable income or property. Individuals convicted of tax evasion in connection with the non-compliance will not be eligible to collect rewards.

"A good first step. But the devil is in the details. The rewards must be mandatory if the whistleblower meets a reasonable criteria for eligibility," said Stephen Kohn the Executive Director of the National Whistleblower Center.

The United States Internal Revenue Service Whistleblower Program pays an award worth between 15 and 30 percent of the total proceeds that IRS collects could be paid, if the IRS moves ahead based on the information provided. Under the law, these awards will be paid when the amount identified by the whistleblower (including taxes, penalties and interest) is more than $2 million.

Reforms such as the OTIP are on the rise as international and domestic tax evasion becomes a greater problem for countries around the world, stealing potentially tens of billions of dollars every year from federal government coffers. 

[Canada] MacCharles, Tonda, Richard Colvin: Portrait of a whistleblower, theStar.com, November 21, 2009.

Talk to people who know Richard Colvin and a few key traits emerge. Driven, committed to Canada’s mission in Afghanistan. Knows his stuff. Takes copious notes. Sociable, yet discreet. Above all, discreet. Click here to read more.

[Vietnam] Huy, Dam, “Company chief arrested for having whistleblower killed, Thanhnien News.com, November 21, 2009.

Ngo Quang Truong, director of real estate investor Hoang Hai Ltd. in Hoc Mon District, was detained after the police caught four men involved in the murder: Bui Quoc Huy, Tran Van Khoa from the northern Vinh Phuc Province, Vu Van Luan from the northern Hai Phong City and Ngo Chi Huan from the Mekong Delta’s Hau Giang Province. Click here to read more.

Continue Reading International Whistleblower News (November 23, 2009)

[UK] Develin, Kate, “NHS whistleblower ‘sacked for revealing dumped x-ray scans’,” Telegraph.co.uk, November 14, 2009.

Dr Otto Chan, a consultant radiologist, believes that he was labelled a troublemaker after the revelations about the Royal London. He claims that hospital bosses decided to get rid of him and that his dismissal has left him unable to get another job in the health service. He is suing the hospital for loss of earnings, future earnings and pension.Click here to read more.

[Philippines] “Why charge the whistleblowers?,” The Manila Times.net, November 13, 2009. 

We agree with the senators and others who have criticized the Senate joint three-committees’ report on the ZTE scandal for including the two main whistleblowers among the persons recommended for prosecution. Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Pimentel Jr., Senators Panfilo Lacson, Alan Peter Cayetano, and Francis Escudero were right to warn that prosecuting Messrs.

Continue Reading International Whistleblower News (November 16, 2009)

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[Turkey] “Prosecutors looking for ways to contact whistleblower,” Today’s Zaman, November 3, 2009.

Prosecutors conducting a probe into a clandestine group known as Ergenekon are searching for a way to reach a military officer who mailed the original copy of a military plot against the ruling party to an İstanbul prosecutor. The plot is aimed at undermining the power of the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) and the faith-based Gülen movement.

[UK] Lakhani, Nina, “NHS is paying millions to gag whistleblowers,” The Independent, November 1, 2009.

NHS whistleblowers are routinely gagged in order to cover up dangerous and even dishonest practices that could attract bad publicity and damage a hospital’s reputation. Some local NHS bodies are spending millions of taxpayers’ money to pay off and silence whistleblowers with “super gags” to stop them going public with patient safety incidents. Experts warn that patients’ lives are being endangered by the use of intimidatory tactics to force out whistleblowers and deter other professionals from coming forward. Click here to read more.

Continue Reading International Whistleblower News (November 3, 2009)

[Malaysia] Tsin, Yip Ai, “Whistleblower Act wins TI-M approval,” Malaysiakini, October 26, 2009.

Anti-graft watchdog Transparency International Malaysia (TI-M) has lauded the proposed Whistleblower Act, which will provide immunity to informants against civil or criminal action. "By putting in place the protection of whistleblowers, the government (will) promote integrity and freedom of speech, which are crucial conditions for democracy, the rule of law and sustainable development," said TI-M secretary-general Loi Kheng Min in a statement today. Click here to read more.

[UK] Chadwick, Edward, “Birmingham MP John Hemming gives refuge to Jersey whistleblower,” Birmingham Post.net, October 26, 2009.

A Birmingham MP has taken an on-the-run whistleblower into his home after he claimed asylum in the UK. John Hemming says Stuart Syvret will be arrested “over his dead body” after the former Jersey health minister holed up at his London flat. He is facing prison after leaking a police report into an aborted investigation surrounding the conduct of a male nurse on the island. Mr Syvret will ask the British Government for legal asylum and “protection from harassment” from the Jersey authorities. Click here to read more.

Previous post about Stuart Syvret in NWC blog

[Canada] “The Richard Colvin Case,” FAIR.

Richard Colvin was a senior diplomat posted in Afghanistan from April 2006 to October 2007. Starting in May 2006 he repeatedly raised concerns about the potential for torture of prisoners handed over byy the Canadian military to Afghan police. He raised these concerns to senior officials at Foreign Affairs and National Defence, copying 79 different people across government. Click here to read more.

 

Continue Reading International Whistleblower News (October 26)

[Canada] Perreaux, Les and Rhéal Séguin, “Montreal Mafia controls 80 percent of road contracts, whistleblower says,” The Globe and Mail, October 15, 2009.

The alleged plans for fixing bids among Montreal construction companies known as the “Fabulous Fourteen” were passed along by telephone, often using a code based on golf.

[Azerbaijan] “Whistleblower released from psychiatric hospital,” International Freedom of Expression eXchange, October 14, 2009.

Mahammad Gurbanov, a 55-year-old resident of Nakhchivan City who was placed in a psychiatric hospital by police on 11 September 2009, was released on World Mental Health Day, on 10 October, after 29 days in detention. Click here to read more.

 

Continue Reading International Whistleblower News (October 19)

[Australia] Thompson, Tuck, “Police whistleblower sent home, told to see psychiatrist, Couriermail.com.au, October 12, 2009.

A veteran officer who has exposed cronyism and corruption in the police force has been ordered off work even though his doctor says he is fit for duty. Sergeant Robbie Munn – who wants to resume his decorated 30-year career – says the service has a culture that deters whistleblowers from reporting “dirty little secrets”. The police force claims Sgt Munn, who has fully recovered from heart surgery, requires psychiatric help and has ordered him off the job for 18 months. Click here to read more.

[UK] Bowen, Innes, “Whistleblower says Army abuse not investigated,” BBC News, October 11, 2009.

Three High Court judges ruled that RMP Deputy Provost Marshal Colonel Dudley Giles “lacked reliability” when he gave evidence to an inquiry into claims UK soldiers mistreated and murdered prisoners. A whistleblower has told the BBC he was not surprised when he heard the judges’ comments. Click here to read more.

[UK] Curtis, Polly, Rachel Williams and Allegra Stratton, “Ofsted accused of manipulating Haringey report after Baby P,” Guardian.co.uk., October 9, 2009.

A leading MP demanded an inquiry after a whistleblower at Ofsted claimed an official report into Haringey council was secretly downgraded from “good” to “inadequate” because of the furore over the death of Baby Peter. Documents seen by the Guardian show Ofsted’s initial 2008 report into Haringey children’s services, then run by Sharon Shoesmith, gave it high ratings – three or four out of the maximum of four stars – in most categories. But in the key category it was later changed to one star – the worst, meaning its services were inadequate. Click here to read more.

 

Continue Reading International Whistleblower News