Representing Whistleblowers in Companies With Deferred Prosecution Agreements
Businesses that secure a deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) from the Department of Justice should be highly motivated to honor the agreement’s terms and avoid any hint of further violations. However, it does not always work this way, and some companies continue to engage in the conduct that precipitated their legal trouble. These actions can prompt whistleblowers to report improper actions to the independent compliance monitors who are often appointed to oversee companies working under a DPA.
I am Steve Kardell and at my Dallas law firm, I represent whistleblowers in all types of workplace retaliation actions, seeking compensation from companies for punishing managers and other employees who properly report misconduct. These are the brave people who step up and want to do right thing because companies ARE going to do bad things.
Over 35 years of practice, I’ve appeared for whistleblowers in numerous Texas cases, including these:
- ZTE Corp. — An American subsidiary of ZTE Corp., the Chinese telecommunications giant, faced charges of carrying on illegal business transactions with Iran through the use of shell companies. After executives at the company tried pressuring General Counsel Ashley Yablon into unlawful acts to hide the company’s conduct, he assisted with an investigation into the matter initiated by the Department of Justice and Department of Commerce. When Yablon’s identity was exposed, ZTE took his company phone and computer away. In 2017, after he took another job, ZTE entered into a DPA and a year later was caught breaking it. The company admitted to the illegal sales and to lying about their existence. It agreed to pay the government hundreds of millions of dollars.
- MoneyGram — Juan Lozada was a compliance offer at MoneyGram starting in 2016. The company had obtained several extensions to a DPA originally established in 2012 following allegations related to wire fraud and failure to safeguard against money laundering. Lozada reported on several occasions that MoneyGram was breaching the language of the DPA but his concerns were ignored and he was fired after less than a year on the job. Eventually, federal prosecutors identified the same type of misconduct and fined the company $125 million.
I represent Mr. Yablon, Mr. Lozada and numerous other clients in retaliation claims.
Strict adherence to a DPA is necessary to protect yourself and the company you work for, even if some executives seek to take another path. No matter how just your cause might be, it’s important to understand the type of retaliation that whistleblowers can face. Whether the improper activity stems from the violation of a DPA or something else, you should retain an attorney who understands how to litigate these cases and deal with the pressure and harassment that often accompanies them.
I handle whistleblower actions, Sarbanes-Oxley litigation and other legal matters for Texas clients, helping them secure the justice and compensation they deserve. To schedule a consultation at my Dallas firm, Whistleblower Law for Managers, please call Steve Kardell at 214-306-8045 or contact me online.