Environmental Whistleblowers

Yesterday, the Department of Justice announced that Dewey W. Willis Jr. plead guilty to federal charges for the illegal harvest of Atlantic striped bass from federal waters in 2010. It has been illegal to harvest the Atlantic striped bass, also referred to as a “rockfish” or a “striper,” from federal waters since 1990, due to the severe decrease in stock. Decrease in stock is the result of overfishing and environmental conditions since the 1970s. “The illegal poaching of striped bass by commercial fishermen has a major impact on the survival of this iconic fish resource and has the potential to devastate the future livelihoods of law abiding commercial fishermen,” said Assistant Attorney General John C. Cruden for the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division.

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Washington, D.C. January 4, 2016. The Environmental Law Reporter published an article that explains how the monetary rewards provisions for whistleblowers in both the Lacey Act and the Endangered Species Act can have a massive impact on the detection and deterrence of wildlife crimes. The article, “Monetary Rewards for Wildlife Whistleblowers: A Game-Changer in Wildlife Trafficking Detection and Deterrence,” published on January 1, 2016 was written by Stephen M. Kohn, a founder of the National Whistleblower Center.
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This past Friday the Houston Chronicle published an important article regarding allegations that DuPont let poisonous gas leak continuously from a plant near New Orleans for three years. The article, “Whistleblower case raises more safety concerns about DuPont,” details a novel approach to enforce environmental standards using the False Claims Act (FCA).

The plaintiff in U.S. ex rel Simoneaux v. E.I. DuPont de Nemours and Co., Civ. No. 12-129-SDD-SCR is attempting to prove his case in what experts describe as an unusual and potentially ground-breaking use of the False Claims Act FCA), claiming DuPont did not report environmental issues at the plant to avoid fines from the federal government. 
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Stop killing the planet

Occupy EPA is marching again. On Friday, March 30, 2012, at 12 noon, they will march from Franklin Square Park (13th & I Sts NW in Washington, DC) to the headquarters of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (12th & Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Federal Triangle, Washington DC). There, at 1:00 pm, they will lead a rally

Honest AppalachiaOn-line activists in West Virginia have launched a whistleblower web site called Honest Appalachia.  It provides a means for whistleblowers to upload documents for public disclosure. The project’s lead developer, Garrett Robinson, told WFPL that the objective is to help local journalists get information about local issues that can help them make more useful

Handbook Cover

The NWC is proud to announce the release of the second edition of The Whistleblower’s Handbook: A Step-by-Step Guide to Doing What’s Right and Protecting Yourself. This second edition includes a new 20–page checklist on the procedures for obtaining Dodd-Frank Act rewards from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The checklist covers the SEC’s regulations that went into effect on August 11, 2011, and provides insights on how whistleblowers can use the new regulations to maximize their potential rewards. See pages 276-296.

The new edition also explains how whistleblowers can use the Dodd-Frank Act to blow the whistle on violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). The FCPA prohibits companies traded in the United States from bribing officials in other countries. The SEC can require that companies caught violating the FCPA “disgorge” the monies received through the violation. As the SEC penalty can be much greater than the amount of the bribe itself, the whistleblower’s reward of 10 to 30 percent of the SEC recovery can also be very large. Whistleblowers anywhere in the world can now submit anonymous reward claims for reporting corruption of local officials. See pages 30-32 and 294-295.

Other new features of the second edition include:

  • How to navigate opportunities to report violations to internal channels and the SEC. Pages 280-281.

  • Tips for employees of corporate compliance and internal audit departments. Page 282.

  • Examples of the types of corporate misconduct that violate SEC rules and can become the basis for Dodd-Frank rewards. Pages 292-293.

  • Managing retaliation claims under both the Dodd-Frank Act and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX). Page 290.

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