SEC Charges Anheuser-Busch InBev With Violating FCPA and Whistleblower Protection Laws

The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that Anheuser-Busch InBev has agreed to pay $6 million to settle charges that it violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and chilled a whistleblower who reported the misconduct. An SEC investigation found that the company used third-party sales promoters to make improper payments to government officials in India to increase the sales and production of Anheuser-Busch InBev products in that country.  Despite repeated complain...
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JP Morgan whistleblower suit revived – U.S. appeals court 

A federal appeals court revived a former JP Morgan Chase private banker’s whistleblower lawsuit accusing the bank of firing her in retaliation for warning that an Israeli client might be committing fraud. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit in New York found enough evidence to suggest that former JP Morgan employee Jennifer Sharkey had a “reasonable belief” that the client was engaged in fraud and money laundering involving Colombia. Sharkey said she was fired as a vice president a...
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Deutsche Bank Whistleblower Turned Down $8.25 million Reward

A whistleblower who helped reveal false accounting at Deutsche Bank has refused an $8.25 million award from a U.S. securities regulator because of the agency's failure to punish bank executives, the Financial Times reported. Eric Ben-Artzi, a former Deutsche Bank risk officer, wrote in an opinion article in the Financial Times that the $55 million U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission penalty on which the award is based should have been paid by Deutsche's executives. Ben-Artzi, his law...
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New Whistleblower Protections for Contractors Gain Traction in Congress

A bipartisan group of House members on Thursday unveiled a Whistleblower Protections for Contractors Act (H.R. 5920), following movement last month on a similar bill in the Senate. The bipartisan measure would give subgrantees and personal services contractors the same whistleblower protections currently afforded contractors, grant recipients and subcontractors. “Whistleblowers are the front line of defense against waste, fraud, and abuse," read a joint statement from Reps. Elijah Cummings...
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Bipartisan Letter Questions Watchdog’s Whistleblower Program

Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA). Photo via Flick't user Gage Skidmore. Bipartisan Letter Questions DoD's Whistleblower Program While it is clear that numerous deficiencies remain within the DoD’s system for handling cases of whistleblower reprisal, the Congressional letter is a welcome indication that concern over the unlawful treatment of whistleblowers by the Pentagon is garnering increasing external attention that could help catalyze reform. A bipartisan group of Members of Congres...
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Limits On Whistleblower Suits Over Regulations

The U.S. Supreme Court made it a little harder for lawyers to press whistleblower lawsuits over minor violations of government contract terms, but the court’s unanimous decision in Universal Health Services v. Escobar might also make it harder for defendants to dismiss suits before entering the expensive evidence-gathering phase known as discovery. The decision by Justice Clarence Thomas follows a middle path between the position of the government — that violating a single requirement, no m...
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Feds Order JP Morgan to Reinstate Whistleblower, Pay $200,000

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Federal labor officials have ordered JP Morgan Chase Bank to reinstate an employee who was fired for raising concerns over the firm’s failure to properly report financial transactions to government regulators. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced the order Monday. It calls for New York-based JP Morgan to pay the employee about $200,000 in back pay, medical expenses and compensatory damages. The employee was a loan delivery operations manager at...
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Volkswagen Employee Sues Seeking Whistleblower Protections Over Data Deletion

A German spokesman for Volkswagen declined to comment on the case, citing the fact that "as a matter of principle" the company didn't comment on legal proceedings concerning labor law, Reuters reported. The Volkswagen scandal dates back to September, after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency discovered a so-called defeat device in the company's diesel cars. It turned out that those cars had software that could detect when the cars were being tested and would then improve test results ...
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Nuclear Workers Retaliated Against for Exposing Wrongdoing

In her job at the Savannah River Site nuclear weapons plant in South Carolina, Sandra Black was responsible for looking into concerns raised by employees about everything from health and safety to fraud, abuse, harassment and retaliation. But in fall 2014, when federal investigators with the Government Accountability Office asked her whether she had the necessary independence to do her job, Black says she answered truthfully: She told them her supervisors had interfered with her wor...
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New Whistle-Blower Investigation Guidance From OSHA | Bloomberg BNA

Feb. 2 — The new OSHA Whistleblower Investigations Manual, issued Feb. 1, details the agency's revised requirements for deciding if a complaint should be fully investigated. Also explained in the manual is when the agency may release or share investigative information. While the 290-page manual is written for OSHA's staff investigators, the information is useful for anyone involved in a whistle-blower complaint. The manual (CPL 02-03-007) replaces guidance OSHA published in May 2015 (CPL 02-03...
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