Federal and state officials have announced a $25 billion settlement with the America’s five largest mortgage servicers, an agreement that would not be possible without contributions from employees who first exposed the banks’ wrongdoing. How many whistleblowers were there, and how high up were their positions in the banks?
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Yesterday, the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia, overruled a petition for rehearing filed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), OMB Watch, and the Government Accountability Project (GAP). By rejecting the petition for rehearing, the Fourth Circuit again saved America’s most effective whistleblower law, the False Claims Act (FCA). I reported

Rebuffing an open letter from the National Whistleblowers Center (NWC) asking for a face-to-face meeting, and brushing aside the potential consequences for the best whistleblower law ever enacted, three organizations filed a petition yesterday challenging the False Claims Act (FCA). The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), OMB Watch and the Government Accountability Project (GAP) filed the petition in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in Richmond, Virginia. The case is ACLU v. Holder, Case No. 09-2086.

On March 28, 2011, the three-judge panel of the Fourth Circuit rejected the ACLU, OMB Watch and GAP challenge to the “seal” provision of the FCA. The FCA provides a reward program for whistleblowers who help the government recover money that companies obtain by fraud. The FCA provides for a temporary “seal” that shields the case from public disclosure while the government investigates the case to decide if it will intervene. The seal serves the government by preventing the fraudsters from getting wind of the government investigation. If companies knew the government was trying to prove they engaged in fraud, they might start destroying evidence that the government could later use to prove that fraud. The seal also protects the whistleblower from retaliation while the seal is in force. All FCA seals are temporary and will eventually be lifted so the public can see the claims made and the government’s decision on whether to intervene. If a seal last for longer than sixty (60) days, it must be approved by the Court which considers whether it is in the public interest.

After the March 28 panel decision, the NWC issued an open letter to the ACLU, OMB Watch and GAP. The open letter asked for a face-to-face meeting with the the decision makers from these groups to discuss whether proceeding with this case was really in the public interest. The NWC letter warned that the challenge to the FCA threatened the right of whistleblowers to file claims confidentially and could  undermine America’s “most effective whistleblower law.”


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Assistant Attorney General Tony West confirmed that the U.S. Department of Justice was “considering all avenues of redress against the potentially responsible parties,” according to a letter released today by the National Whistleblower Center. The letter specifically mentions the False Claims Act (“FCA”). The letter is in response to a letter from NWC urging the government to use the FCA to hold responsible parties accountable for losses suffered by the taxpayers as a result of the Deepwater Horizon disaster…
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The Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (H.R. 4173) passed 60-39 by Congress today includes a number of provisions designed to protect employees who report fraud in the commodity and stock exchanges. This is one of the most important whistleblower laws ever passed. The NWC has compiled the sections of this bill that pertain specifically to whistleblowers with a one-sentence summary of each…
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