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Whistleblower News
NWC Issues Report Blasting Chamber of Commerce’s Attempt to Undermine Major Federal Anti-Fraud Law

 Requests that the Hearing Scheduled for July 30, 2014 Present Balanced Testimony

ReportCover Washington, D.C. July 25, 2014. Today the National Whistleblower Center released a new report entitled “Saving America's 'Most Important Tool to Uncover and Punish Fraud.'” The report rebuts arguments being raised by the Chamber of Commerce as part of its aggressive lobbying campaign to undercut and weaken the False Claims Act.

 

The FCA is widely acknowledged as America’s most effective anti-fraud law.  It encourages whistleblowers to report fraud in government contracting, and results in the recovery of billions of dollars every year from fraudulent government contractors.  The Chamber is preparing to testify at an upcoming hearing before the House Judiciary Committee in order to pave the way for Congress to weaken the FCA.

 

“Why would anyone want to undermine the key law protecting taxpayer’s money?  Why would anyone want to destroy a key anti-fraud law?  The Chamber of Commerce is doing the bidding for corrupt contractors, some of which have engaged in bid-rigging, illegal marketing of unapproved drugs, and selling unsafe bullet proof vests to police.  In a recent FCA case the Chamber filed papers in court to keep secret company files that fully documented widespread corruption in a major defense contract,” said Stephen M. Kohn, Executive Director of the National Whistleblower Center and the author of the NWC’s rebuttal report.

 

“No member of Congress should support the Chamber’s misguided and misleading campaign to weaken America’s most important anti-fraud law.  Currently, the House Judiciary Committee will not permit representatives from the National Whistleblower Center to testify. This should be corrected, and the NWC should be permitted to present it report to the full committee,” Kohn added. 

 

Take Action! Ask Congress to Save America's Most Important Whistleblower Law!

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Supreme Court Issues Decision On Key Whistleblower Rights Case

Ruling Protecting Testimony Before Federal Grand Juries Will
Have Widespread Impact On Fraud Investigations

Washington, D.C. June 19, 2014. Today, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a landmark whistleblower decision in the case of Lane v. Franks.  The Court held that truthful testimony before a federal Grand Jury is "clearly" protected speech under the First Amendment.

The Supreme Court in an unanimous decision recognized the "importance" of protecting speech when "public corruption" is at issue, acknowledging that corruption cases "often require testimony" from government employees willing to blow the whistle on their managers. Demonstrating an awareness of the dilemma facing employees who witness fraud, the Court held that the failure to protect whistleblowers from retaliation "would place public employees who witness corruption in an impossible position, torn between the obligation to testify truthfully and the desire to avoid retaliation and keep their jobs." 

In a statement issued today, Stephen Kohn, Executive Director of the National Whistleblower Center, said:  "Given the widespread use of Grand Jury proceedings to investigate securities, banking and tax fraud, today's ruling will have widespread impact.  It will have a direct and major impact on the willingness of public employees to expose corruption in government."

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Big Win for Corporate Whistleblowers at Supreme Court

 

SOX whistleblower protection covers mutual fund industry


Washington, D.C. March 4, 2014. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled today in Lawson v. FMR, LLC, that contractors and subcontractors of publicly traded companies are fully protected under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act for corporate whistleblowers.

 

Significantly, in today's decision the Supreme Court explicitly held that investment advisors and other "independent contractors" employed in the mutual fund industry are fully protected under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act's whistleblower provisions. The Supreme Court's ruling reversed a lower court holding excluding the mutual fund industry from protection under Sarbanes-Oxley.

 

In her majority opinion, on page 20, Justice Ginsburg explained that her ruling "avoids insulating the entire mutual fund industry from" the corporate whistleblower law.  Justice Ginsburg also explained that these mutual funds manage $14.7 trillion dollars, on behalf of "nearly 94 million investors."  

 

Stephen M. Kohn, Executive Director of the National Whistleblower Center, released the following statement regarding the importance of this decision:

 

“This is a big win for corporate whistleblowers.  This is a big win for every person who invests money through mutual funds.  The Supreme Court closed a potentially devastating loop hole in corporate whistleblower protection. By ruling that contractors and subcontractors of publicly traded companies are fully protected under the corporate whistleblower provisions, the Court has put an end to the popular shell game which large companies use try to silence whistleblowers.”

 

The National Whistleblower Center filed a friend of the court brief before the Supreme Court in this case and has been instrumental in defending the Sarbanes-Oxley Act from corporate attempts to undermine its effectiveness.

 

Mr. Kohn is available for further comment on this decision. Email mjw@whistleblowers.org to set up an interview.

 

Read the decision: Lawson v. FMR, LLC 

Washington Times Reports: FBI Kept Information From 9/11 Commission
Washington, D.C. February 26, 2014.  In an exclusive report, The Washington Times reports that important information regarding the FBI’s counterterrorist achievements was never given to the members 9/11 Commission. The fact that the FBI had placed a human source in direct contact with Osama bin Laden in 1993 and ascertained that the al Qaeda leader was looking to finance terrorist attacks in the United States, was revealed in court testimony in a little-noticed employment dispute case.

 

The Agent responsible for finding and cultivating this source, and successfully thwarting terrorist threats in California, is FBI Supervisory Special Agent Bassem Youssef.  Mr. Youssef was the FBI’s highest ranking counterterrorism official to “blow the whistle” on the FBI’s gross mismanagement of the War on Terror. He was also the highest-ranking FBI agent who is fluent Arabic.  In spite of his qualifications, after the 9/11 attacks the FBI irresponsibly questioned his loyalties due to his national origin and blacklisted him.   When he alerted a Member of Congress and the Director of the FBI to the discrimination he faced, Mr. Youssef was subjected to more severe retaliation, including the denial of promotions, punitive transfers and stripping him of all his prior operational counterterrorism duties, which had resulted in the successful infiltration detailed in today’s Washington Times.  The retaliation against Mr. Youssef continues to this day.

The National Whistleblower Center issued an Action Alert calling on President Obama to give credit to Supervisory Special Agent Youssef for his work in one of the most significant triumphs in the war on terror and to tell the FBI to stop the retaliation against him. Please join with the NWC and take action on this critical issue.

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 Read: EXCLUSIVE: FBI had human source in contact with bin Laden as far back as 1993