• umanghere 15 days ago
  • 55555 15 days ago
    Snitches get riches.

    I think I support this program. At first I was thinking that the commission should be capped at, say, 30 million USD. My thinking being that anyone who might become a whistleblower would be sufficiently motivated by that amount and paying more won’t increase the number of whistleblowers. But maybe the problem with that is that Ericsson could then offer to pay the would-be whistleblower 100 million USD to keep their mouth shut? Perhaps having no cap ensures that if someone wants to rat you out, you won’t be able to offer them enough money to talk them out of it. Just thinking aloud. (Because on the face of it, it’s insane.)

    • willeh 15 days ago
      I mean the whistleblower (even if anonymous) probably ends their career by doing it. 30mm might not be worth it for a high-level exec so to me it makes sense to have it uncapped.
      • Thorrez 15 days ago
        Some keep working:

        >And three whistleblowers, all represented by Jordan Thomas, were awarded a total of $83 million.

        >Even now, does Merrill Lynch know who the whistleblowers were, who your clients were?

        >THOMAS: No, they don't.

        >GOLDSTEIN: Wow.

        >THOMAS: The same with JP Morgan. If we do our job well, our clients can and do continue working at the organizations in which they reported even though they could buy an island. Some of them like working, so they keep working.

        >GOLDSTEIN: I mean, not to be glib, but there is the, like, hey, Bob (ph), how'd you show up in a Lamborghini today? Well...

        >THOMAS: (Laughter) Yeah. No, some people don't show their money.

        >GOLDSTEIN: Yeah. Yeah.

        >THOMAS: And this - they - yeah, I call them secret millionaires, you know, people who won a whistleblower award but choose to keep working.

        >GOLDSTEIN: At the same firm.

        >THOMAS: Yeah. It does happen. People's relationship with their work is in some ways like family after a period of time, and breaking it off is hard.


      • LinuxBender 15 days ago
        Adding to this some companies have connections with very thuggish and dangerous people. Snitching may result in that which can not be stitched. The whistleblower may have to leave the country, change identity and lay low. I say this having worked for a CEO that was also a mob boss and had to think this through.
      • hef19898 15 days ago
        I think you definitely end your career by blowing th whistle on your employer, past or present, with the SEC. Even more so if you at the higher levels of the org chart. After al, ypu didnitbonce, so ehy would any other employer trust you again? And thatbhas notjingbto with being rigjt or not, the saying "people like treason but hate traitors" is quite old after all.

        So yes, I totally support the SECs whistleblower program. Explicitely including the fact people can fax their tips to them, or use attorneys for a layer of semi anonymity.

  • nindalf 15 days ago
    This program is mostly good, because there isn’t a better way to detect and therefore deter corporate crimes.

    However, over time the program has also been suborned by former members of the SEC

    > The Wall Street Journal estimated that of more than 52,000 tips submitted to the agency in the decade to September 2021, just 0.5% resulted in awards. Critics grumble that the sec is less than transparent about the way it sorts tips and awards informants

    > Perhaps the gravest concern, however, is over a secondary business that is growing up alongside the sec process. In a forthcoming study Alexander Platt of the University of Kansas’s law school suggests that a handful of law firms, often staffed by former employees of the sec, are responsible for winning an outsize share of whistleblower awards. Those firms, in turn, often charge their whistleblower clients high legal fees, perhaps more than a third of the value of the eventual award. But informants who want their tips investigated may do well to hire them. Using data from 2012 to 2020, Mr Platt found that former sec regulators were involved in about one-third of cases where whistleblowers used attorneys. He reckons that about a quarter of all the money dispersed by the sec scheme has gone to recipients represented by law firms that have hired former staff from the agency. And that share appears to be growing: from 2021 to the middle of 2022, what he calls “revolving-door firms” raked in more than 40% of the funds awarded. One implication, finds Mr Platt, is that the arrangement risks looking unhealthily close.

    The Economist (https://archive.is/vwYXu)

  • pcurve 15 days ago
    Considering they made half a Billion in sale from bribing, $1.1B in fine will hurt. That's over 70% of their 1 year profit.
  • mrtksn 15 days ago
    Do whistleblowers receive some kind of protection if they are involved in the crime they snitch?

    AFAIK criminal organisations make sure that those with privileged information get dirty as well, especially in the mafia making them commit a murder or something unforgivable. Sure, in a telco bribing public officials case this wouldn't be something drastic but all the people involved must be already corrupt. You don't pitch bribery as a business idea in an open meeting with the interns.

    • fardo 15 days ago
      With $279 million, one would hope the recipient would have the inclination to throw together whatever security they felt necessary.

      Money makes a lot of problems go away - with this kind of money, one could buy a Hawaiian 10-20 million dollar home in a gated luxury community where access is gated and staff routinely patrol, pay the fully loaded cost of two 100$/hr personal armed guards for a 24/7 security detail ($876,800 per year each), and still have something like 100 million to spend on whatever you want before you die.

      If you’re a jilted businessman, sure, maybe you’re still willing to try something insane like hiring assassins or trying to get control of your security staff out of pure spite, but frankly, for every individual at the company besides perhaps the largest shareholders (who are actually the most risk-adverse people with regard to the danger of such a plan becoming public), it’s not actually their money and they’d rather just move on because it doesn’t affect their paycheck.

      • kobalsky 15 days ago
        Gotta factor in that the IRS is gonna swipe 35-40% of that before it lands. Unless these awards are not taxed.
  • landosaari 15 days ago
    This whistleblower program is discussed here [0]

    I learned it does not matter what citizenship you have to participate.

    [0] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZkA5WP7spQ8

  • ketzo 15 days ago
    Sure, tech has levels.fyi to find companies with good salary and equity or whatever.

    But where’s corrupt.co, where I can find the shadiest possible companies to maximize my potential whistleblowing income?

    On second thought, maybe Blind is already this.

    • Nextgrid 15 days ago
      > where I can find the shadiest possible companies to maximize my potential whistleblowing income?

      Check out "crypto" and "web3".

    • flangola7 15 days ago
      Does blind need phone number
      • hkxer 15 days ago
        Work email
        • flangola7 14 days ago
          But that would mean your company knows you are on there
  • noobermin 15 days ago
    The high price tag suggests the whistleblower was paid very well on the job in order for them to find tipping worth while.
  • Incipient 15 days ago
    I know everyone complains about the US being the world police, but they actively do good stuff. They do break things too.
    • nevermindiguess 15 days ago
      Well, they did go after a foreign company. Probably a competitor of a US company. Do they enforce the same way against US companies? Perhaps it’s just a tool to beat foreign competition. Eg the case being built against TikTok. Perhaps the EU should investigate the same US companies. But I think the European Commission is in the pockets of Washington.
      • vagrantJin 14 days ago
        > But I think the European Commission is in the pockets of Washington

        Now there's an understatement.