Intelligence community whistleblower ombudsman Dan Meyer has been fired. This is a disturbing and problematic move. It is particularly surprising, or perhaps cynically appropriate, that this occurred shortly after members of the intelligence community (IC) met with whistleblower rights organizations earlier this month.
In a memo dated January 29, 2018, Attorney General Jeff Sessions instructed Department of Justice (DOJ) heads to not communicate with “senators, representatives, congressional committees, or congressional staff” without first consulting with the DOJ Office of Legislative Affairs (OLA).
Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA), a long-time advocate for whistleblower rights, has expressed his concern regarding the legality of the Attorney Sessions’ memo. In his response letter, Grassley writes that the memo “does not appear to comply with existing law.” In particular, it infringes on the rights of DOJ employees to “make protected disclosures directly to Congress.”
Washington, D.C. November 15, 2017. Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA) has put forth two amendments to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Bill that are important to whistleblowers.
The major amendment addresses an issue that has been the subject of previous posts, defining the term “collected proceeds” in I.R.C. section 7623(b). The IRS and Department of Justice have taken the position whistleblowers who report criminal tax frauds, such as the numerous crimes committed by the largest Swiss banks, cannot obtain a whistleblower reward. They have argued that whistleblower rewards should not be paid on any criminal fines. Continue Reading Proposed Grassley Amendment Important for Whistleblowers
On Tuesday, October 17, 2017, Senator Charles Grassley and the Securities and Exchange Commission joined the National Whistleblower Center in supporting the whistleblower in Digital Realty Trust v. Somers (No. 16-1276) by filing amicus briefs with the U.S. Supreme Court. Continue Reading Senator Grassley and SEC Join NWC in Filing Amicus Briefs in Critical Supreme Court Case
Sen. Chuck Grassley and Sen. Ron Wyden today introduced critically needed legislation to protect tax fraud whistleblowers from workplace retaliation. The National Whistleblower Center strongly believes that this legislation is crucial to effectively prevent honest employees from having their careers destroyed, simply for doing the right thing.
Senator Sessions: “It’s not acceptable to retaliate against a whistleblower.”
Washington, D.C. January 12, 2017. The U.S. Department of Justice manages many of America’s most important whistleblower programs, including the False Claims Act (“FCA”) anti-fraud law. The Senate Judiciary Committee’s confirmation hearing of of President-Elect Trump’s nominee for Attorney General began on Tuesday. Sen. Chuck Grassley, Chairman of the Committee and long-time advocate of whistleblower rights, asked Sen. Jeff Sessions to confirm, on the record, his commitment to encouraging whistleblowers to step forward and to aggressively pursue fraud cases under the FCA.
Continue Reading Trump’s Nominee for Attorney General Voices Support for Major Anti-Fraud Program
Washington, D.C. October 27, 2016. Today marks the 30th Anniversary of the 1986 amendments to the federal False Claims Act (FCA). Since these amendments were passed, the FCA has proven to be the most effective anti-fraud law in the United States, recovering over $48 billion from those who defrauded the U.S. government. Continue Reading Today is the 30th Anniversary of the 1986 FCA Qui Tam Amendments
National Whistleblower Appreciation Day Resolution Passes by Unanimous Consent
Washington, D.C. July 8, 2016. Yesterday, U.S. Senate unanimously passed S.Res.522, designating July 30, 2016 as National Whistleblower Appreciation Day.
The resolution encourages all federal agencies to inform “employees, contractors working on behalf of United States taxpayers, and members of the public about the legal rights of citizens of the United States to ‘blow the whistle’ by honest and good faith reporting of misconduct, fraud, misdemeanors, or other crimes to the appropriate authorities.” The resolution also acknowledges the contributions whistleblowers have made, at their own personal risk, “combating waste, fraud, abuse.” Continue Reading Senate Proclaims July 30th, 2016 A Day to Celebrate Whistleblowers
Washington, D.C. June 30, 2016. The bipartisan Senate Whistleblower Protection Caucus cosponsored a resolution on Thursday designating July 30, 2016 as National Whistleblower Appreciation Day. This resolution was introduced in order to recognize the crucial role whistleblowers play in exposing fraud and wrongdoing, and to encourage federal agencies to acknowledge the legal rights of whistleblowers.
Washington, D.C. June 22, 2016 – Today, the U.S. Department of Justice filed a Notice of Supplemental Authority in a pending False Claims Act case, U.S. ex rel. Westrick v. Second Chance Body Armor, et al., No. 04-0280 (D.D.C.), setting forth the DOJ’s official position on the impact of the Supreme Court’s unanimous decision announced last week in Universal Health Services, Inc. v. United States ex rel. Escobar, 579 U.S. ___, slip op. No. 15-7 (June 16, 2016). In its filing today, the DOJ argues that the Supreme Court’s unanimous decision in Escobar discussion that a contractor’s “misleading half-truths” to the government “unequivocally supports the United States’ argument” in the Westrick case that Toyobo Co. Lt. and Toyobo America, Inc. (collectively Toyobo) “had a legal duty to disclose” its knowledge that the degradation of Zylon bullet-proof vests that it sold to the government “contradicted Toyobo’s misrepresentations about the superiority” of those vests. Continue Reading Justice Department’s First Public Statement on Supreme Court’s Unanimous Escobar Decision Slams Toyobo’s “Half-Truths” in Pending False Claims Act Whistleblower Suit