whistleblowers

  • Good read.

  • News

    Bonus Watch ’14: Countrywide Whistleblowers

    The total payouts to whistle-blowers in the federal government’s $16.65 billion settlement with Bank of America over its mortgage business may approach $170 million. Edward O’Donnell, a former executive at Countrywide Financial, and Robert Madsen, a former property appraiser for the bank already have been identified as two of the whistle-blowers that federal prosecutors gave […]

    / Dec 19, 2014 at 3:53 PM
  • News

    Attention Would-Be White Collar Criminals: Engaging In Illegal Activity Costs More When Whistleblowers Are Involved

    When building cases against financial wrongdoers of all shapes and sizes, prosecutors and their junior partners over at the SEC have a couple of options. Find some people willing to spill on other people in exchange for not being put in jail, or pay them. The latter is accomplished via the whistleblower program, which can […]

    / Oct 29, 2014 at 3:07 PM
  • News

    Bonus Watch ’14: Whistleblower From Who All Would-Be Whistleblowers Could Learn A Thing Or Two

    The Securities and Exchange Commission said Monday that it expects to pay more than $30 million in an award under its whistleblower program, more than double the agency’s previous high for a payout under the plan. The SEC didn’t name the whistleblower in question, but the regulator did say that it will be the fourth […]

    / Sep 22, 2014 at 3:03 PM
  • whistleblower

    News

    Taking Away Your Head Trader’s Desk And Shoving Him In A Basement To Perform Menial Labor In Retaliation For Whistleblowing Apparently Not Okay

    On Monday, Paradigm Capital Management became the first investment fund to pay a fine for retaliating against an employee who reported his firm’s misdeeds to the S.E.C. The hedge fund, which is based in Albany, N.Y., and manages $1.5 billion of client money, agreed to pay $2.2 million to settle the civil charges…Mr. Nordgaard was […]

    / Jun 16, 2014 at 3:09 PM
  • whistleblower-info-promo

    News

    Securities And Exchange Commission Bans Aspiring Whistleblower For Being A Pain In The Ass

    As many of you know, in 2010, the SEC created a whistleblower program wherein a person who “comes forward with high-quality original information that leads to a Commission enforcement action in which over $1,000,000 in sanctions is ordered” can collect a nice little payout (awards range from 10-30% of the total collected). So you can’t […]

    / Jun 5, 2014 at 12:21 PM
  • jp-morgan1

    News

    Bonus Watch ’14: JP Morgan Whistleblowers

    Keith Edwards did pretty well for himself last year.

    / Mar 7, 2014 at 3:12 PM
  • Bradley-Birkenfeld-260x260

    News

    UBS Whistleblower (Allegedly!) Likes His Drink

    Remember Bradley Birkenfeld? Former UBS employee who scored himself a $104 million bonus from the IRS for single-handedly making the government’s case against UBS re: tax cheats, which resulted in the US scoring $780 million from the Swiss bank and in turn nearly $5 billion when you count the additional Americans who were inspired to […]

    / Sep 20, 2013 at 2:51 PM
  • But they seemed so friendly at the interview

    Hedge Funds

    Former Cerberus Marketer Wasn’t Really Comfortable Marketing Cerberus

    My favorite financial news story of 2013 so far might be the Reuters story last Friday about how NYSE and Nasdaq each listed more IPOs than the other during the first quarter. A normal human might find that odd: listing an IPO is the sort of thing that you tend to notice and keep a […]

    / Apr 8, 2013 at 6:43 PM
  • maryschapiro

    News

    Bonus Watch ’12: SEC Whistleblowers

    The Securities and Exchange Commission said Thursday it received more than 3,000 tips in the past fiscal year. The SEC said the tips — 3,001 in all — came from all 50 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and from 49 countries. It announced the findings in a report required by the Dodd-Frank Act on the […]

    / Nov 15, 2012 at 6:27 PM
  • News

    Considerably More Snitches Actually Getting Stitches Around The Office These Days

    Last week, we discussed the whistleblower payout awarded to Bradley Birkenfeld, a former UBS employee who single-handedly made the government’s case against the Swiss bank re: tax evasion, scoring the US between $780 million and $5 billion, depending on how much credit you want to give him. Earlier in the month, Birkenfeld secured a $104 million bonus from the IRS for his assistance, though only after a lot of hoop jumping, nearly three years in a federal prison, and several months in a halfway house, prompting us to wonder how much money, if any, it would take to get you to blow the whistle on some colleagues playing it fast and loose with the law,* if you would do time for it, and, if so, how much? Today brings one more issue to consider, should you be seriously considering teaching your coworkers a lesson they’ll never forget, which is: are you will to get your face rearranged and/or have your hand stapled to your desk?

    Because it will probably come to that.

    “The number one weapon used at work is the fist,” says Larry Barton, a professor and leading expert in workplace violence who estimates more than 1.2 million Americans were assaulted at work by a coworker in the past calendar year. The second most popular weapon? The stapler on your desk. A new report from the Ethics Resource Center shows that physical violence at work as retaliation against whistle blowing is on the rise. Since 2009, the percentage of people who’ve reported misconduct at work and were victims of physical harm jumped more than 25%. By these tallies, both fists and staplers have been getting quite the workout.

    Just something to think about.

    When Snitches Get Stitches: Physical Violence As Workplace Retaliation On The Rise [Forbes via Heidi Moore]
    *Be it securities laws or simply workplace etiquette, i.e. don’t grab someone to chat for “just a quick sec” when they’re clearly heading out the door to flee this asylum for the night.

    / Sep 21, 2012 at 12:17 PM
  • News

    UBS Whistleblower’s $104 Million Award Poses Interesting Conundrum For Would-Be Snitches

    Remember Bradley Birkenfeld? He’s the guy who single-handedly made the U.S. government’s case against UBS and forced the Swiss bank to hand over the names of thousands of tax cheats, which resulted in the US scoring $780 million from UBS and may have inspired some 33,000 Americans to “voluntarily disclose offshore accounts to the IRS, generating more than $5 billion.” And yet, despite his assistance, Birkenfeld wasn’t immediately thanked for a job well done. Instead, he was sentenced to forty months in prison (fair-ish, considering he showed a few clients how to avoid paying taxes himself) and told to piss off by the Internal Revenue Service, from whom he sought an award, because he was “not forthcoming about his own role in the scheme,” even as a Justice Department attorney admitted that “…without Mr. Birkenfeld walking into the door of the Department of Justice in the summer of 2007, I doubt as of today that this massive fraud would have been discovered by the US government” (or as his lawyer put it, “They didn’t know how to spell UBS until he showed up. He didn’t just give them a piece of the puzzle. He gave them the entire puzzle”). Now, after doing 32 months at Schuylkill Federal Correctional Institution, getting let out early on account of “good-time credit,” and living in a halfway house in New Hampshire, Birkenfeld has finally been thrown a bone.

    Bradley Birkenfeld, the former UBS AG banker who told the Internal Revenue Service how the bank helped thousands of Americans evade taxes, secured an IRS award of $104 million, an amount his lawyers said may be the largest ever for a U.S. whistle-blower. Birkenfeld told authorities how UBS bankers came to the U.S. to woo rich Americans, managed $20 billion of their assets, and helped them cheat the IRS. He pleaded guilty to conspiracy in 2008, a year after reporting the bank’s conduct to the Justice Department, U.S. Senate, IRS and Securities and Exchange Commission. He was released from prison Aug. 1…Birkenfeld, 47, worked at Zurich-based UBS, the largest Swiss bank, for five years. He sought a reward from the IRS of as much as 30 percent of any taxes the agency recovered as a result of his whistle-blowing activities.

    Clearly this whole thing should stir up a few questions inside you all, chief among them: how much money would it take to get you to befriend or get yourself employed with some rogue people so you can blow the whistle on them? Would you do any time for it? If so, how much? And are we talking Club Fed or a place where your roommate spoons you every night?

    UBS Whistle-Blower Secures $104 Million Award From IRS [Bloomberg]

    / Sep 11, 2012 at 11:46 AM
  • News

    Bonus Watch ’12: SEC Whistleblowers

    A whistleblower who helped the Securities and Exchange Commission stop a multi-million dollar fraud will receive nearly $50,000 — the first payout from a new SEC program to reward people who provide evidence of securities fraud. The award represents 30 percent of the amount collected in an SEC enforcement action against the perpetrators of the […]

    / Aug 21, 2012 at 4:49 PM
  • Sometimes the literal approach is the best. Other times it's not but we use it anyway.

    News

    Whistleblower Law Firm Finds Some Prospects

    So there’s a law firm called Labaton Sucharow and a big chunk of their business model is: (1) read newspaper, (2) see bank did bad thing, (3) sue bank. This is a great business model because banks just cannot resist doing bad things and courts just cannot resist taking piles of money from shareholders of […]

    / Jul 10, 2012 at 3:26 PM
  • News

    Whistleblowing Bank Of America Quite A Bit More Lucrative Than Working For Bank Of America

    Just something to keep in mind.

    A former Countrywide Financial Corp. manager whose fraud suit contributed to the mortgage industry’s $25 billion settlement with federal and state regulators received about $14.5 million for his efforts, his lawyers said. Kyle Lagow, an appraisal manager for Countrywide from 2004 to 2008, claimed that Countrywide inflated the value of homes to support bigger loans, according to a statement today from Seattle-based law firm Hagens Berman. Charlotte, North Carolina- based Bank of America bought Countrywide in 2008 to save it from collapse as defaults on home loans soared. Lagow’s information helped prompt a $1 billion settlement of Federal Housing Administration claims announced by Bank of America in February, according to the law firm. The sum was included in the nationwide settlement reached that month.

    [Bloomberg]

    / May 29, 2012 at 6:22 PM
  • News

    The Securities And Exchange Commission Requests A Little Credit Where Credit Is Due, Please!

    Yesterday, the Wall Street Journal ran a front page story reporting that the Securities and Exchange Commission had “blown” the cover of whistleblower Peter C. Earle. The article claimed that Earle, a former employee of Pipeline Trading Systems turned government informant, had his identity “inadvertently” revealed through a “gaffe” on the part of an SEC lawyer, who showed a Pipeline exec “a notebook from the whistleblower filled with jottings about trades, calls and meetings.” The executive was said to have recognized Earle’s handwriting and told his colleagues, who had previously suspected but did not know for sure that “Pete’s the whistleblower.” The story was easy to believe because if you’ve been keeping up with the SEC over the last number of years, you know that this sound exactly like something they’d accidentally do. Except that whereas the regulator fully copped to, for example, missing Madoff while trying to access ladyboyjuice.com 385 times/day, it says that this accusation? Is bull shit. It did not “inadvertently” “blow” anyone.

    Here’s its strongly worded letter to the Journal saying as much:

    The Securities and Exchange Commission in no way exposed Peter Earle as a whistleblower, and our use of his notebooks in an investigative deposition was neither “inadvertent” nor a “breach” or “gaffe” (“Source’s Cover Blown by SEC,” Page One, April 25). It was a deliberate decision, which SEC lawyer Daniel Walfish discussed in advance with his supervisor, who was present for the deposition in which the notebooks were exhibited. Nor did the fully authorized use of the notebooks in any way compromise Mr. Earle or the integrity of the SEC’s investigation of the Pipeline Trading Systems matter.

    Although it was widely known among executives of Pipeline and Milstream Strategy Group that Mr. Earle had approached the SEC after he was terminated from Milstream—a fact volunteered by several witnesses and acknowledged by Mr. Earle long before any use of his notebooks—the SEC declined to confirm his identity and still treated his status as a cooperating witness as confidential. The SEC made sure to obtain all of the notes of the approximately six Milstream traders, and in the SEC’s deposition of Gordon Henderson (the supervisor of Mr. Earle and the other traders), the SEC used other traders’ notes along with those of Mr. Earle. The use of these traders’ notes—highly relevant evidence prepared in the ordinary course of their work at Milstream—in no way revealed whether Mr. Earle or any other trader was or was not cooperating with the SEC.

    George S. Canellos

    Director

    New York Regional Office

    U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission

    New York

    SEC Did Not Blow Source’s Cover [WSJ]
    Earlier: SEC Burns Whistleblower In The Most SEC Way Possible

    / Apr 26, 2012 at 1:25 PM
  • News

    SEC Burns Whistleblower In The Most SEC Way Possible

    In recent years, the Securities and Exchange Commission has had its share a fuck-ups come to light. The regulator took a pass on heeding the warning signals by Bernie Madoff himself that he was running a Ponzi scheme, it chose to go after David Einhorn rather than Allied Capital when the hedge fund manager suggested all was not right at the company, and yesterday, it was announced that the Commission is suing Egan-Jones for lying about having rated 150 ABS bonds on an SEC application four years ago (in reality it had rated zero), information that could have been fact-checked at the time but was not because there were new clips on www.ladyboyjuice.com, www.anal-sins.com, and www.fuck-my-wife.com to watch. Today the team scored a new victory when it outed an informant.

    Federal securities regulators, in a sensitive breach, inadvertently revealed the identity of a whistleblower during a probe of a firm that ran a stock trading platform. The gaffe by the Securities and Exchange Commission occurred during an investigation of Pipeline Trading Systems LLC when an SEC lawyer showed an executive who was being questioned a notebook from the whistleblower filled with jottings about trades, calls and meetings. The executive says he recognized the handwriting. Pipeline, which didn’t admit or deny the allegations, was the subject of a page-one Wall Street Journal article earlier this month. The article didn’t name the whistleblower, but he has now agreed to be publicly identified. He is Peter C. Earle, 41, a former employee of a Pipeline trading affiliate. Mr. Earle said he was “disappointed” the SEC took steps in its probe that ended up disclosing his identity to Pipeline. The SEC confirmed showing the notebook to an executive of the business it was investigating. SEC officials said there is always a risk a whistleblower’s identity might be disclosed during an investigation, but its practice has been to avoid unnecessarily revealing an informant’s identity.

    The person shown the notebook (in a November 2010 SEC interview), Gordon Henderson, was the head of Pipeline’s trading affiliate, Milstream Strategy Group. He said in an interview that he previously suspected Mr. Earle was an SEC informant. Mr. Henderson’s desk was near Mr. Earle’s in Milstream’s New York office, and he said he recognized Mr. Earle’s handwriting in the notebook.

    Related: “Mr. Earle said he made other internal complaints about trading, and was fired on April 3, 2009. Mr. Henderson said the reasons for dismissal included poor performance and a belief Mr. Earle was having an affair with the wife of another Milstream trader at the time. Mr. Earle denied both allegations, calling the notion of poor performance ‘ridiculous.'”

    Source’s Cover Blown By SEC [SEC]

    / Apr 25, 2012 at 11:55 AM
  • News

    SEC Has Learned Some Important Lessons From Its Madoff Failures, Like “Return Harry Markopolos’s Phone Calls”

    The SEC is well aware that everyone thinks its failure to stop Bernie Madoff’s ponzi scheme was pretty weak. After all, Harry Markopolos told them about it for years and they did nothing. But it turns out there’s a pretty innocent explanation: when Markopolos would call the SEC, they didn’t have a pen handy so […]

    / Jul 27, 2011 at 4:27 PM

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