Attorney General Eric Holder has spoken a lot about the need for help from whistleblowers who can provide evidence to the Department of Justice about the crimes committed on Wall Street from September 2008 and onward. However, this message appears to fall flat when you consider that over the past few years, the Department of Justice seems to have systematically ignored all whistleblower complaints made against the big banks of Wall Street.
Even those banks that were prosecuted against, including Credit Suisse and BNP Paribas, didn’t really receive a whole lot of punishment for their crimes. BNP released a statement saying that there will be no impact on its operations and that it will retain all its licenses. Credit Suisse had to pay some fines and may lose a few clients, but emerged mostly unaffected from the prosecution.
In fact, there is plenty of evidence to believe that while the government has amped up its whistleblower protection in most cases, it still tends to turn a blind eye in cases involving Wall Street banks. Eileen Foster, who was at one time head of investigations at Countrywide Financial, reported wrongdoing in the organization but was fired after the company was bought by Bank of America before she could speak with regulators.
Another example is the case of Richard Bowen. Bowen attempted to raise concern among executives at Citigroup about the amount of defective mortgages that investors were being sold and the risks involved with this continued behavior. Citi failed to act, and Bowen soon received retaliation for his alerts and eventually lost his job. Yet Citigroup and Countrywide raked in millions of dollars and no punishments for their actions.
The nation has come a long way in recent years in terms of whistleblower protections, but there is still a long way to go in bringing Wall Street criminals to justice.
For more information about filing a whistleblower claim in Dallas, speak to the team at Whistleblower Law for Managers.