Summary: The former chief investigator for the SEC Inspector General’s (IG) office has filed a whistleblower suit, accusing the agency of retaliating against him for being a whistleblower. Allegedly, the agency’s IG and his successor were involved in a relationship, which was happening at the time of the agency’s “seemingly-negligent response” to the Bernie Madoff case and the Stanford Financial Ponzi scheme. The successor allegedly refused to meet with a key Stanford lawyer, after that lawyer was also allegedly revealed to have had an affair with the now-former IG.
The former IG stepped down early this year amid ethics questions. An investigation by the US Postal Service IG revealed that, among other things, he had “violated rules by overseeing investigations involving people with whom he had ‘personal relationships.’”
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Summary: PETA plans to protest the premiere of the highly-anticipated Lord of the Rings prequel, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, after a whistleblower revealed that several animals died during the making of the film. According to the whistleblowers, who were wranglers on the set, the deaths of three horses and more than 20 sheep, goats, and chickens were preventable.
Summary: Foreign student workers who faced labor abuses while packaging Hershey candy at a Pennsylvania plant last year will receive about $213,000 in back wages. GAP's Food Integrity Campaign explains the courage of the students who protested against the harsh working conditions and meager wages, despite the threat of deportation.
Summary: A recent UK study finds public opinion sides heavily with whistleblowers. According to the study, which was conducted by a market research agency, 81 percent of the UK public believe those revealing wrongdoing deserve support, not punishment.
Summary: A respected financial official filed a whistleblower complaint with the Department of Labor against his employer, Berkadia Commercial Mortgage, alleging he was taken off his job as retaliation for reporting excessive fees to his bosses.
Summary: The mortgage divisions of several major banks will pay $162 million to settle whistleblower allegations that the banks charged improper fees on home refinancing for veterans.
Summary: Florida Gov. Rick Scott has ordered the state auditor general to investigate claims that Citizens Property Insurance retaliated against whistleblowers, after the state-backed insurance company closed its internal investigation unit. Allegedly, employees of the unit were, at the time of the firings, conducting investigations into mismanagement and improper use of funds by supervisors.
Scott has been involved in whistleblower scandals before, having previously served as a former CEO of a major hospital that was accused of improper billing practices, allegedly cheating the federal government out of millions of dollars. Whistleblowers say that he should have known about these practices, given his “hands-on CEO” style.
Summary: Pharmacy company RxAmerica will pay $5.2 million to settle a whistleblower suit alleging they were overbilling the federal government for Medicare drugs. The suit was first brought by a retired synagogue director who noticed major discrepancies between how much his drugs cost and how much the company was charging the government.
Hannah Johnson is Communications Associate for the Government Accountability Project, the nation's leading whistleblower protection and advocacy organization.