The Securities and Exchange Commission has just announced three record-setting rewards for whistleblowers under the Dodd-Frank Act. Two of the whistleblowers will share an award of nearly $50 million, while a third will receive over $33 million. The SEC says that the previous record was a 2014 award of $30 million.
Whenever a customer or bank notices signs of fraud on the customer's account, the bank is required by law to perform an investigation. It must determine whether criminal activity has occurred and whether the customer was involved. When the customer is involved, the bank immediately closes the account. When the customer is an innocent victim, the bank typically offers at least some assistance in retrieving the stolen money.
President Trump has signed into law legislation that strengthens whistleblower protections at the VA. The legislation is called the Dr. Chris Kirkpatrick Whistleblower Protection, named after a 38-year-old Wisconsin psychologist who was fired (and then committed suicide) after having revealed that the Tomah VA facility had been overprescribing opioid medications to veterans.
In prepared congressional testimony, Wells Fargo & Co. CEO Tim Sloan recently said that the company has rehired 1,780 employees who had quit or were fired after the bank's phony accounts scandal. Around 5,300 employees were fired after taking part in the creation of accounts without customers' knowledge. Wells Fargo says that many others quit or were pushed aside. Some were fired for blowing the whistle on illegal conduct.
There has been a major development in the case of Wells Fargo and the harsh incentives it allegedly put in place to encourage its private bankers to open fraudulent accounts. A former branch manager in Pomona, California, was fired after she brought forward concerns about conduct that she reasonably believed constituted mail, wire and bank fraud to her superiors.
What kind of person contemplates blowing the whistle on his (or her) organization?