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. Continue Reading National Whistleblower Center Supports Global Anti-Corruption Efforts

On May 26, 2016, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals issued a body blow to the SEC’s ability to go after corporations under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) by imposing a five-year statute of limitations on disgorgement enforcement actions. The decision in SEC. v. Graham et al.  placed a five-year statute of limitations on all SEC disgorgement and declaratory relief enforcement actions. This holding conflicts with decisions previously issued by the D.C. and Ninth Circuits Courts of Appeal. Continue Reading NWC Urges Immediate Appeal of the Eleventh Circuit’s Imposition of a Statute of Limitations on FCPA Disgorgement Enforcement Actions

The head of the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower, Sean McKessy, reported on Friday that the increased number of rewards paid out to whistleblowers “reflects the high-quality nature of the tips the SEC is receiving as public awareness of the whistleblower program grows.”  To date, the SEC has awarded 31 separate awards totaling $68 million to whistleblowers.

Continue Reading The Securities and Exchange Commission Confirms Critical Role Whistleblowers Play in Holding Fraudsters Accountable

In response to the Panama Papers — the more than ten million leaked documents from the Panamanian law firm, Mossack Fonseca, that exposed illicit financial activity and tax evasion through the use of anonymous offshore shell companies — the White House announced on May 6th that it would end the use of anonymous corporations in the United States and require disclosure of beneficial owners when foreigners deposit money or buy assets in the United States.

The White House announced that it plans to: Continue Reading Obama Administration Proposes Oversight Reform in Response to Panama Papers

The post below was co-authored by Stephen M. Kohn, Michael D. Kohn David K. Colapinto, partners of the law firm Kohn, Kohn and Colapinto, LLP.

 One of the most destructive tools used to silence whistleblowers are non-disclosure agreements (often found in employment contracts and severance agreements) which prohibit employees from disclosing fraud and other crimes to law enforcement agencies.  Today’s Washington Post story exemplifies the problems faced by employees in every sector of the economy who are required to sign these gag orders in order to obtain jobs or badly needed severance payments.

On March 9th, we filed a complaint with the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission seeking to have these agencies take strong action against illegal gag orders.  The complaint, based on information provided to the government by former KBR employee Harry Barko, exposed how KBR forced its employees to sign illegal gag orders when they were disclosing fraud in government contracting to company officials.  This complaint was reported in the Washington Post on March 10th.  Since then, the SEC has initiated an investigation into these practices. Today’s Post story indicates that momentum is building to stop these practices.    Continue Reading We Must Stop Illegal Gag Orders

Washington, D.C. January 17, 2014. Today President Obama gave a much anticipated speech in which he addressed the National Security reforms his administration will put in place.  The reforms he identified are woefully shortsighted with regard to providing protection for National Security whistleblowers.  President Obama acknowledged the potential abuse that can arise from the NSA surveillance programs, citing the illegal surveillance of civil rights leader Dr. King.  However, he offered no meaningful way for patriotic whistleblowers to bring forward concerns and abuses taking place out of pubic view.  

The President of the National Whistleblower Center, Michael D. Kohn issued the following statement regarding President Obama’s reforms:

“Until President Obama recognizes the critical and essential role whistleblowers play in keeping us safe from illegal invasions of privacy and civil liberties, the changes to the programs under consideration are nothing more than short-term widow dressing.  

It is time that the President and Congress step up to the plate and work with the National Whistleblower Center and other public interest organizations to forge a framework that provides national security whistleblowers a meaningful avenue to air concerns and cure retaliation.  Congress and the President must do their jobs, and stop destroying the lives of civil servants who try to report misconduct. A free and open society deserves nothing less.”

There is significant historical precedent for the protection of whistleblowers demonstrating that such protections were strongly supported by the Founding Fathers. NWC Executive Director, Stephen Kohn, previously discussed this precedent in his New York Times Op-Ed, The Whistleblowers of 1777. Mr. Kohn is also the author of The Whistleblower’s Handbook: A Step by Step Guide to Doing What’s Right and Protecting Yourself  (Lyons Press, 2011). 

The National Whistleblower Center’s position on President Obama’s “Policy Directive" on National Security Whistleblowers is linked here.  

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Michael D. Kohn, President of the National Whistleblowers Center, is attending the Anti-Corruption and Transparency Symposium this week in Seoul, South Korea. According to an article in today’s TheMichael Kohn in Korea Korea Times, the symposium is co-hosted by Korea’s Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission (ACRC) and the APEC Secretariat. It is called, “Systematic Approach to Building Anti-Corruption Capacity,” 

Michael Kohn is speaking on the importance of protecting whistleblowers to encourage them to come forward with information about corrupt activities in government and business. Other photos of the event, including photos of the food served there, are available from a Korean language blog.

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To get the latest news on today’s deposition testimony by national security whistleblower Sibel Edmonds, I have been reading The Brad Blog.  Investigative journalist and commentator Brad Friedman reports that Edmonds was able to testify in response to all the questions.  No attorneys from the Department of Justice or the FBI showed up.  No court orders prevented the depostion from proceeding.  Of particular relevance to Rep. Jean Schmidt’s complaint against challenger David Krikorian, Edmonds reportedly confirmed that Schmidt’s donors were agents of the Turkish government intent on suppressing public awareness of the Armenian Genocide.  However, the Brad Blog reports that Edmonds’ testimony went further in showing the extent to which Turkish agents will go.  According to The Brad Blog, in one incident, a female Turkish agent allegedly seduced a married female member of Congress who was going to support a resolution acknowledging the Armenian Genocide.  The Brad Blog reports that the agent recorded the seduction, and then allegedly used it to extort the congresswoman to oppose the resolution. 

 

Continue Reading Sibel Edmonds’ testimony covered on The Brad Blog