Articles Posted in Whistleblowers

As California employment and whistleblower lawyers, we follow developments in cases involving all aspects of the relationship between employees and employers. We often represent clients and groups of employees that have been harmed by their employer. But sometimes the employees see the harm that their employers are causing and blow the whistle on the behavior or actions.

As so it is that the Wall Street Journal reports that the individual who blew the whistle on his former employer UBS has been awarded a huge award for his efforts. The $104 million award is based on information this whistleblower provided to United States government authorities in 2007.

The whistleblower provided information to the government about the bank’s efforts to help their clients evade taxes. In this case, the whistleblower provided “detailed descriptions of the bank’s efforts to promote tax evasion and confessed to running errands” that included smuggling diamonds in toothpaste tubes.

This matter is very important in lifting the secrecy of Swiss bank activities on behalf of the wealthy who are attempting to avoid taxation. The case has forced the confession of many taxpayers who had undeclared accounts oversees, which amounted to over $5 billion in taxes and penalties to be paid to the IRS that otherwise would have been unpaid.

Although this whistleblower is serving his own sentence under house arrest for his participation in the activities, he is entitled to a percentage of the collected proceeds. The award might well encourage others to provide information about similar situations.
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As California whistleblower lawyers, we read with interest a recent article in the New York Times which reports that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been keeping tabs on its own scientists and others. The tracking included such activities as private emails to Congressional members, lawyers and many others in high places, including the President.

Why would the FDA do this? Apparently the trigger was alleged disclosure of confidential information possibly by several scientists. After what was described as initially a narrow investigation, the probe eventually expanded to a “much broader campaign to counter outside critics of the agency’s medical review process, according to the cache of more than 80,000 pages of computer documents generated by the surveillance effort,” the NYT reporters noted.

Now that the surveillance has been revealed, the FDA is said to be defending the surveillance saying that it was done out of concern that some internal scientists were

A few weeks ago, the Internal Revenue Service paid out a very large whistleblower award to an accountant who reported fraud on the part of his former company in the payment of federal income tax. The award was the first to be issued to a whistleblower by the IRS. As California whistleblower lawyers, we know the importance of these cases to the public welfare. Whistleblowers are people who have the courage to come forward when they see wrongdoing in their workplace.

Recently, a very different matter was settled with the federal government involving whistleblowers. Although the companies deny wrongdoing, DynCorp International Inc., the largest U.S. contractor in Afghanistan and its subcontractor have settled a case involving what the government claimed were construction work and other services that were not actually performed. The company has agreed to pay $7.7 million and its subcontracter $1 million, to resolve claims that costs for services that it was alleged to have performed in Iraq were inflated.

The lawsuit was apparently filed by former employees who became what are known as whistleblowers. They informed the government of the false claims for payment that were being made by these companies when services had not in fact been rendered. The whistleblowers will be receiving about $481,710 for their honesty in this matter.