Tag Archive for ‘Whistleblowers’
A new survey of the U.S. and U.K. financial services industry finds that the upswing in financial markets in the wake of the global recession hasn’t done much to improve public perceptions of leading financial institutions – mainly because the underlying behavior of those working in the industry has worsened over the years.
The good news is that on-the-job misconduct by American workers may be at an all-time low, and when misconduct is detected it’s likely to be reported by co-workers. The bad news is that whistle-blowers are being retaliated against for their truth-telling at a “shocking” rate, according to a new survey.
At least 15 drug and medical-device companies have paid $6.5 billion since 2008 to settle accusations of marketing fraud or kickbacks. However, none of the more than 75 doctors named as participants were sanctioned, despite allegations of fraud or of conduct that put patients at risk, a review by ProPublica found.
Whistle-blowers, truth-tellers and fraud-spotters pay a miserable price on Wall Street. They are vilified. They are fired. Sometimes they are even sued. Instead of being sought after, they become persona non grata. Pulitzer Prize winner Jesse Eisinger reports on the case of David Maris, a one-time star analyst for Bank of America.
Commission chairman Mary Schapiro said that while the Sarbanes-Oxley Act has helped protect whistleblowers and improve internal reporting systems at public companies, “too many people remain silent in the face of fraud. Today’s rules are intended to break the silence of those who see a wrong.”
House Republicans introduced legislation targeting the already-delayed whistleblower rule in the Dodd-Frank financial reform law. The move, backed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, is just the latest in a series of setbacks for those who favor strengthening whistleblowers rules to encourage reporting of wrongdoing within government and businesses.
A section of the Dodd-Frank financial reform act requires the SEC to pay a cash award to whistleblowers to voluntarily provide original information about violations of federal securities laws that lead to a successful enforcement action. A particularly divisive issue: the proposed rules don’t require a whistleblower to first use internal corporate compliance procedures.
When President Obama came into power on the heels of the financial crisis, he pledged to beef up the Securities and Exchange Commission, a chief watchdog of Wall Street. But with a strapped budget and the changing political winds in Congress, that plan may come up short.
GlaxoSmithKline and a subsidiary agreed to pay $750 million to settle charges that between 2001 and 2005 they distributed adulterated drugs made at GSK’s now-closed manufacturing facility in Cidra, Puerto Rico. U.S. authorities said a corporate whistleblower who had filed a lawsuit against GSK under provisions of the U.S. False Claims Act will receive approximately $96 million from the federal share of the settlement.
The Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration isn’t adequately protecting whistleblowers from retaliation by their employers, according to a report released by the Government Accountability Office. Since Congress passed the Sarbanes-Oxley Act in 2002, little more than 2 percent of worker requests for whistleblower status have been granted.