LIST OF WHISTLEBLOWERS
1777 - Samuel Shaw of the US Navy
Along with Third Lieutenant Richard Marven, midshipman Shaw was a key figure in the passage of the first whistleblower law passed in the United States by the Continental Congress. During the Revolutionary War, the two naval officers blew the whistle on the torturing of British POWs by Commodore Esek Hopkins, the commander-in-chief of the Continental Navy. The Continental Congress enacted the whistleblower protection law on July 30, 1778 by a unanimous vote. In addition, it declared that the United States would defend the two against a libel suit filed against them by Hopkins.
1893 - Edmund Dene Morel, Congo Free State
English shipping clerk turned journalist who reported on the atrocities in the Congo Free State in Africa and became an anti-slavery campaigner. His revelations led to a strong campaign against Belgian King Leopold II's autocratic regime in his African territory, where the rubber plantations brutally exploited slave labor.
1931 - Herbert Yardley, US Cipher Bureau
Cryptologist and Head of the Cipher Bureau, the first U.S. SIGINT agency better known as "The Black Chamber", who exposed the inner workings of the organization and its surveillance policies in his eponymous 1931 book, The American Black Chamber, after the United States Department of Statewithdrew funding from the organization's activities in 1929, citing ethical concerns. However, while "The Black Chamber" ceased operations following the withdrawal of funding, the publication of Yardley's book two years later and its resultant controversy in government circles caused the amendment of the Espionage Act of 1917 to prohibit the disclosure of foreign code or any communication transmitted through code. Though Yardley remains a controversial figure in the intelligence community, he was honored by the National Security Agency in 1999.
1933 - Smedley Butler, US Marine Corps
Retired U.S. Marines Corps Major General, a two-time recipient of the Medal of Honor, who alleged to the McCormack-Dickstein Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives that business leaders had plotted a fascist coup d'état against the Franklin D. Roosevelt administration in what became known as the Business Plot. In his book War Is a Racket, Butler listed well-known U.S. military operations that he alleged were not about protecting democracy as was told to the public but in furthering the business interests of U.S. banks and corporations. He compared these activities with Al Capone-style mob hits on behalf of American corporations and their respective business interests.
1942 - Jan Karski, Polish Home Army
Polish resistance fighter, who during World War II twice visited the Warsaw ghetto, and met with United States president Franklin Delano Roosevelt, with the UK Foreign Secretary, and with the Polish shadow government in London, to report what he had witnessed concerning conditions for Jewish people, and the extermination camps. His report was not taken seriously by any authority, so actions against the Nazi extermination programme were delayed for years, allowing the Nazis to kill millions more people.
1963 - John Paul Vann, US Army
American colonel, who, during the Vietnam War, reported to his superiors that American policy and tactics were seriously flawed, and later went to the media with his concerns. Vann was asked to resign his commission, did so, but later returned to Vietnam.
1966 - Peter Buxtun, US Public Health Service
Exposed the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment. This was a (now infamous) ‘clinical study’ conducted over a forty year period between 1932 and 1972 by the U.S. Public Health Service in collaboration with the Tuskegee University. Its purpose was to study the natural progression of untreated syphilis rural African-American men in Alabama. They had been told that they were receiving free health care from the U.S. government. The study enrolled a total of 600 impoverished sharecroppers from Macon County, Alabama. Of these men, 399 had previously contracted syphilis before the study began, and 201 did not have the disease. The men were given free medical care, meals, and free burial insurance for participating in the study. After funding for treatment was lost, the study was continued without informing the men they would never be treated. None of the men infected was ever told he had the disease, nor was anyone treated with penicillin after this antibiotic became proven and accepted (in 1947) as the appropriate treatment of this disease. Instead, the Tuskegee scientists continued the study without treating any participants; they withheld penicillin and information about it from the patients. In addition, scientists prevented participants from accessing syphilis treatment programs available to other residents in the area. The victims of the study included numerous men who died of syphilis, 40 wives who contracted the disease, and 19 children born with congenital syphilis. Nowadays studies require informed consent communication of diagnosis, and accurate reporting of test results – although there have been plenty of other medical research ‘failures’ around the world since then.
1967 - John White, US Navy
U.S. Navy Lieutenant, White wrote a letter to the editor of the New Haven Register. He asserted that US President Lyndon Johnson lied to Congress about faulty sonar reports used to justify the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution. White continued his whistleblowing activities by appearing in the 1968 documentary In the Year of the Pig. In 2014, he published his post-mortem entitled ‘The Gulf of Tonkin Events: Fifty Years Later (A Footnote to the History of the Vietnam War)’.
1971 - Daniel Ellsberg, US State Department
Ellsberg was a former RAND Corporation military analyst who, along with Anthony Russo, leaked the Pentagon Papers, a secret account of the Vietnam War to The New York Times
and The Washington Post
. The Pentagon Papers revealed endemic gross lies by several previous US Government administrations, Presidents, officials and military officers throughout the US war on Vietnam. The realisation that their own government had lied to them decimated US public support for the war and severely damaged public trust in the US system of government, both at home and abroad. The revelations in the Pentagon Papers triggered a legal case launched by the US government to try and stop the publication of this 'classified' information. The case was heard in 1971 by the U.S. Supreme Court. Ellsberg himself was also the subject of retaliation by the Nixon Administration. (See more in paragraphs 10 - 13 here about the Supreme Court’s landmark decision and its effects at the time and up to the present day
1971 - Frank Serpico, US, New York Police Department
Former New York City police officer who reported several of his fellow officers for bribery and related charges in front of the Knapp Commission probing police corruption in the NYPD. Serpico was the first police officer in the history of the NYPD to step forward to report and subsequently testify openly about widespread, systemic corruption payoffs amounting to millions of dollars. The 1973 film ‘Serpico’ is an account of his story.
1971 - Perry Fellwock, US National Security Agency (NSA)
Former National Security Agency analyst who revealed the existence of the NSA and its worldwide covert surveillance network in Ramparts magazine in 1971. At the time, the NSA was an ultra secretive, scarcely known organization. Because of the Fellwock revelations, the U.S. Senate Church Committee introduced successful legislation to stop NSA spying on American citizens. Fellwock was motivated by Daniel Ellsberg's release of the Pentagon Papers.
1971 - Vladimir Bukovsky, Soviet Abuse of Psychiatry
In the Soviet Union, during the leadership of General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev, psychiatry was used as a tool to eliminate political dissidents. In 1971, Vladimir Bukovsky smuggled to the West a file of 150 pages documenting the political abuse of psychiatry, which he sent to The Times. The documents were photocopies of forensic reports on prominent Soviet dissidents. In January 1972, Bukovsky was convicted of spreading anti-Soviet propaganda under the Criminal Code, mainly on the grounds that he had, with anti-Soviet intention, circulated false reports about political dissenters confined in mental hospitals. Political abuse of psychiatry in the Soviet Union was denounced in the course of the Congresses of the World Psychiatric Association in Mexico City (1971), Hawaii (1977), Vienna (1983) and Athens (1989).
1972 - W. Mark Felt, US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
Known only as the mysterious unknown figure ‘Deep Throat’ until he revealed his real identity in 2005, Felt was Associate Director of the FBI, the number-two job in the Bureau, when he leaked information about President Richard Nixon's involvement in the Watergate scandal. The scandal would eventually lead to the resignation of the president, and prison terms for White House Chief of Staff H. R. Haldeman, presidential adviser John Ehrlichman and dozens of other officials in the Nixon administration. Nixon was Impeached and forced to resign in 1974.
1973 - Stanley Adams, Hoffman-LaRoche
A senior executive at Swiss pharmaceutical company Hoffman-LaRoche, Adams supplied evidence to European Economic Community regulators on the company's price fixing in the international vitamin market. The EEC revealed his name during the resulting investigation and Adams was arrested for industrial espionage by the Swiss government and spent six months in jail. He fought for ten years to clear his name and received compensation from the EEC.
1973 - Henri Pezerat, French national Centre for Scientific Research
Henri Pezerat, working on the Jussieu Campus, detected asbestos fibres falling from the ceiling and created a committee to study and inform people about the dangers of asbestos.
1974 - Karen Silkwood, Kerr-McGee
There have been a number of nuclear power whistleblowers who have identified safety concerns at nuclear power plants. The first prominent nuclear power whistleblower was Karen Silkwood, who worked as a chemical technician at a Kerr-McGee nuclear plant. Silkwood became an activist in the Oil, Chemical and Atomic Workers International Union in order to protest health and safety issues. In 1974, she testified to theUnited States Atomic Energy Commission about her concerns. The 1983 film Silkwood is an account of this story.
1976 - Gregory Minor, Richard Hubbard, Dale Bridenbaugh, General Electric
These were Nuclear power whistleblowers. On February 2, 1976, they (known as the ‘GE Three’) "blew the whistle" on safety problems at nuclear power plants, and their action has been called "an exemplary instance of whistleblowing". The three engineers gained the attention of journalists and their disclosures about the threats of nuclear power had a significant impact. They timed their statements to coincide with their resignations from responsible positions in General Electric's nuclear energy division, and later established themselves as consultants on the nuclear power industry for state governments, federal agencies, and overseas governments. The consulting firm they formed, MHB Technical Associates, was technical advisor for the movie, ‘The China Syndrome’. The three engineers participated in Congressional hearings which their disclosures precipitated.
1977 - Frank Snepp, US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)
CIA analyst at the US Embassy, Saigon who published Decent Interval in 1977 about Operation Frequent Wind and the failures of the CIA and other American entities to properly prepare for the Fall of Saigon. Although he redacted all names, methods, and sources from the book, after it was published, CIA Director Stansfield Turner had Snepp successfully prosecuted for breach of contract for violating his non-disclosure agreement. Snepp lost all income, including royalties, from publication of the book, a verdict upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court.
1984 - Clive Ponting, UK Ministry of Defence
Senior civil servant in the UK Ministry of Defence who leaked classified documents to Labour Member of Parliament Tam Dalyell confirming that the Argentine Navy light cruiser the General Belgrano was sunk by the British Royal Navy submarine Conqueror with the loss of 323 lives. These Llosses from the General Belgrano totalled just over half of all Argentine military deaths in the war. The key fact was that it was sunk whilst outside of and sailing away from the total exclusion zone (which was created by the British), contradicting statements by the Thatcher Government. Questioned about this live on TV by a member of the British public, Prime Minister Thatcher lied about the facts.
1984 - Hohn Michael Gravitt, General Electric
Became the first individual in 40 years to file a lawsuit under the False Claims Act after the statute had been weakened in 1943. Gravitt, a machinist foreman, sued GE for defrauding the United States Department of Defense when GE began falsely billing for work on the B1 Lancer bomber. Gravitt was laid off following his complaints to supervisors about the discrepancies. The case of Gravitt v. General Electric and Gravitt's deposition to Congress led to federal legislation bolstering the False Claims Act in 1986. The amended Act made it easier for whistleblowers to collect damages. Gravitt's suit proceeded under the 1986 amendments and GE settled the case for a then record $3.5 million.
1984 - Duncan Edmonds, Canadian Government
Canadian civil servant who reported to his chief, the top Canadian civil servant, that Minister of Defence Robert Coates had visited a West German strip club while on an official mission, with NATO documents in his possession, creating a security risk. Coates was asked to resign from Cabinet by Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, who also fired Edmonds and made him persona non grata in government circles.
1984 - Ingvar Bratt, Sweden, Engineer
Engineer who revealed himself as the anonymous source in the Bofors Scandal about illegal weapon exports. An act that led to a new Swedish law concerning company secrets which is commonly referred to as Lex Bratt.
1985 - Cathy Massiter, UK Military Intelligence Officer (MI5)
Former MI5 officer who accused the British security service of having over-zealously interpreted which groups qualified as subversive, thus justifying surveillance against them. Massiter revealed that MI5 had spied on trade unions, civil liberty organisations and the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.
1985 - Ronald Goldstein, EBASCO Constructors Inc.
Nuclear power whistleblower Goldstein was a supervisor employed by EBASCO, which was a major contractor for the construction of Houston Lighting and Power Company's South Texas Project (a complex of two nuclear power plants). In the summer of 1985, Goldstein identified safety problems to SAFETEAM, an internal compliance program established by EBASCO and Houston Lighting, including non-compliance with safety procedures, the failure to issue safety compliance reports, and quality control violations affecting the safety of the plant. SAFETEAM was promoted as an independent safe haven for employees to voice their safety concerns. The two companies did not inform their employees that they did not believe complaints reported to SAFETEAM had any legal protection. After he filed his report to SAFETEAM, Goldstein was fired. Subsequently, Golstein filed suit under federal nuclear whistleblower statutes. The U.S. Department of Labor ruled that his submissions to SAFETEAM were protected and his dismissal was invalid, a finding upheld by Labor Secretary Lynn Martin. The ruling was appealed and overturned by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, which ruled that private programs offered no protection to whistleblowers. After Goldstein lost his case, Congress amended the federal nuclear whistleblower law to provide protection for reports made to internal systems and to prevent retaliation against whistleblowers.
1986 - Mordechai Vanunu, Isreali Nuclear Weapons Program
Revealed Israel's clandestine nuclear weapons program to the British press. His case is a stark reminder of the fact that one person can be seen as a highly ethical and courageous whistleblower by some and as a traitor by others. He spent seventeen and a half years in prison in Israel as a result, the first eleven of these in solitary confinement. After his release, sanctions were placed on him : among other things, he was not allowed to leave Israel or speak to foreigners. The sanctions have been renewed every twelve months.
1988 - Peter Wright, UK Military Intelligence Officer (MI5)
Former science officer of MI5 who claimed in his book, Spycatcher, that the UK Security Service plotted to remove Prime Minister Harold Wilson from office and the Director General of MI5 was a Soviet spy. After its publication in Australia, which the Thatcher government tried to block, the government attempted to ban the book in Britain under their Official Secrets Act. Through litigation, it succeeded in imposing a gag order on English newspapers to prevent them from publishing Wright's allegations. The gag orders were upheld by the British Law Lords. Eventually, in 1988, the book was cleared for legitimate sale when the Law Lords acknowledged that overseas publication meant it by now contained no secrets. However, Wright was barred from receiving royalties from the sale of the book in the United Kingdom. In November 1991, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that the British government had breached the European Convention of Human Rights in gagging its own newspapers. The British Government’s legal cost were estimated at £250,000 in 1987.
1988 - Roland Gibeault, Genisco Technology (US)
Gibeault filed a lawsuit against defense subcontractor Genisco Technology Corp. After working undercover for 18 months with the FBI and DCIS to uncover the company's fraudulent test methods which were being used to pass key components off on the High-speed Anti-Radiation Missile (HARM) missile. The FBI and DCIS case resulted in a plea-bargained $725,000 fine and three Genisco executives being sent to federal prison. Gibeault, who was fired from Genisco following revelation of whistleblowing, received $131,250 of the fine. In 1989, Gibeault and fellow employee Inge Maudal also filed actions against Genisco's parent company, Texas Instruments.
1989 - Douglas Keeth, United Technologies Corporation (US)
Filed a lawsuit against United Technologies Corp. (UTX) where he held the title vice president of finance. Mr. Keeth and others had investigated billing practices at UTX's Sikorsky Aircraft division, uncovering inflated progress billings going back at least as far as 1982. UTX offered Mr. Keeth a $1 million severance payment if he would keep quiet, but Keeth rejected the offer. In 1994, UTX paid $150 million to the government and Keeth was awarded (under US Whistleblower laws) a bounty of $22.5 million.
1989 - William Schumer, Hughes Aircraft (US)
Filed a lawsuit in January 1989 alleging fraud by Hughes Aircraft with respect to the B-2 bomber. In 1997 the Supreme Court held that the claim should have been dismissed as based on invalid retroactive legislation because the alleged fraud occurred in 1982-1984, before the 1986 amendments to the Fraudulent Claims Act which might have permitted it. The government did not support Schumer in his lawsuit as it had determined the alleged fraud had actually benefited the government by shifting costs from the cost-plus B-2 contract to the fixed-price F-15 contract.
1989 - Myron Mehlman, Mobil (US / Japan)
A toxicologist, he warned managers at Mobil that the company's gasoline that was being sold in Japan contained benzene in excess of 5 percent, and that levels needed to be reduced. Upon his return to the United States, he was fired. He later successfully sued the company.
1990 - Arnold Gunderson, Nuclear Energy Services
Nuclear power whistleblower Arnold Gundersen discovered radioactive material in an accounting safe at Nuclear Energy Services (NES) in Danbury, Connecticut, the consulting firm where he held a $120,000-a-year job as senior vice president. Three weeks after he notified the company president of what he believed to be radiation safety violations, Gundersen was fired. According to The New York Times, for three years, Gundersen "was awakened by harassing phone calls in the middle of the night" and he "became concerned about his family's safety". Gundersen believes he was blacklisted, harassed and fired for doing what he thought was right. NES filed a $1.5 million defamation lawsuit against him that was settled out-of-court. A US Nuclear Regulatory Commission report concluded that there had been irregularities at NES, and the Office of the Inspector General reported that the NRC had violated its own regulations by sending business to NES
1990s - Joanna Gualtieri, Canadian Government
She is a Canadian whistleblower who exposed lavish extravagance in the purchase of accommodation abroad for staff in Foreign Affairs. The Inspector General and Auditor General of Canada later supported her allegations. Gualtieri claimed the Bureau seemed not to care, that her bosses harassed her for raising the concerns and that she was given a dead-end job after coming forward. Ms. Gualtieri sued her former bosses for harassment. This lawsuit was vigorously defended by government lawyers and dragged on in the courts for over 10 years.
1992 - Mark Whitacre, Scientist with Archer Daniels Midland (US)
PhD scientist and former Divisional President with Archer Daniels Midland, who worked with the FBI as a secret informant, to blow the whistle on a price-fixing cartel in his company. This story is featured in the film 'The Informant’ where Whitacre is portrayed by Matt Damon.
1992 - Keith Schooley, Stockbroker at Merrill Lynch (US)
Keith A. Schooley is an American author and former stockbroker at Merrill Lynch, who brought attention to fraud and corruption within the firm at the Oklahoma and Texas offices in 1992 as a whistleblower. As a result, he was terminated from the firm, and sued the corporation in a case that went to the Oklahoma Supreme Court, and Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals.
1996 - William Sanjour, Nuclear Power Industry (US)
Nuclear power whistleblower George Galatis was a senior nuclear engineer who reported safety problems at the Millstone 1 Nuclear Power Plant, relating to reactor refueling procedures, in 1996. The unsafe procedures meant that spent fuel rod pools at Unit 1 had the potential to boil, possibly releasing radioactive steam. Galatis eventually took his concerns to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, to find that they had "known about the unsafe procedures for years". As a result of going to the NRC, Galatis experienced "subtle forms of harassment, retaliation, and intimidation". The NRC Office of Inspector General investigated this episode and essentially agreed with Galatis. He was the subject of a Time magazine cover story on March 4, 1996. Millstone 1 was permanently closed in July 1998.
1996 - Jeffrey Wigand, Brown & Williamson (US)
Jeffrey Wigand had been recently fired from his position as vice president of research and development at tobacco company Brown & Williamson when, on February 4, 1996, he stated on the CBS news program 60 Minutes that the company intentionally manipulated the level of nicotine in cigarette smoke to addict smokers. Wigand claims that he was subsequently harassed and received anonymous death threats. He was portrayed by Russell Crowe in the 1999 film ‘The Insider’.
1996 - David Franklin, Parke-Davis (US)
Exposed illegal promotion of the epilepsy drug Neurontin for un-approved uses while withholding evidence that the drug was not effective for these conditions. Parke-Davis's new owners Pfizer eventually pleaded guilty and paid criminal and civil fines of $430 million. The case had widespread effects including : establishing new standards for pharmaceutical marketing practices; broadening the use of the False Claims Act to make fraudulent marketing claims criminal violations; exposing complicity and active participation in fraud by renowned physicians; and demonstrating how medical literature had been systematically adulterated by the pharmaceutical industry and its paid clinical consultants. Under the False Claims Act Dr Franklin received $24.6m as part of the settlement agreement.
1996 - Michael Ruppert, Los Angeles Police Department(US)
Former LAPD narcotics officer who contested the CIA director John Deutch's assertions that the CIA was not complicit in drug trafficking during a town hall meeting at Los Angeles' Locke High School on November 5, 1995. At the meeting, Ruppert publicly alleged the existence of classified CIA programs named "Amadeus", "Pegasus", and "Watchtower", claiming to possess evidence for the programs including redacted documents from "Watchtower", and stated that CIA officers had attempted to involve him in protecting these CIA operations during the late 1970s. His account corresponds to similar allegations regarding Operation Watchtower.
1996-8 - Nancy Olivieri, Apotex (US)
Starting in 1996, Nancy Olivieri was part of a group conducting a clinical trial in order to evaluate the use of the drug deferiprone, in treating persons with a blood disorder, thalassaemia. During the course of the clinical trial, Olivieri became concerned about evidence that pointed to the toxicity of the study drug and to the drug being ineffective. Olivieri informed both the research ethics board that was monitoring the study and Apotex, the drug maker. The research ethics board instructed Olivieri to inform participants about her concerns. Apotex responded by noting that Olivieri had signed a confidentiality agreement as part of the drug trial and that informing participants about her concerns, the validity of which Apotex disputed, would violate that confidentiality agreement. Apotex threatened to vigorously pursue all legal remedies against her if she disclosed her conclusions to patients. Olivieri disclosed her concerns to her patients and Apotex ended the portion of the study in which she was participating. In 1998, the New England Journal of Medicine published her paper suggesting that deferiprone led to progressive hepatic fibrosis.
1997 - Frederic Whitehurst, Federal Bureau of Investigation (US)
A chemist at the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation who was the FBI Laboratory's foremost expert on explosives residue in the 1990s, and became the first modern-day FBI whistleblower. He reported a lack of scientific standards and serious flaws in the FBI Lab, including in the first World Trade Center bombing cases (in February 1993) and the Oklahoma City bombing case (April 1995). Whitehurst's whistleblower disclosures triggered an overhaul of the FBI's crime lab following a report by the U.S. Department of Justice Inspector General in 1997. Dr. Whitehurst filed a federal lawsuit claiming whistleblower retaliation, and he reached a settlement with the FBI worth more than $1.16 million. Whitehurst later became director of the FBI Oversight Project of the National Whistleblower Center.
1997 - David Shaylor, MI5 (UK)
Along with girlfriend Annie Machon, he resigned from MI5 to expose alleged criminal acts by the UK Secret Services, including a failed assassination attempt on Muammar Gaddafi. Shayler also accused the Security Services of planting false stories in the press, substantiated in one example by a Court.
1997 - Christoph Meili, Nightguard at Swiss Bank
A night guard at a Swiss bank, he discovered that his employer was destroying records of savings by Holocaust victims, which the bank was required to return to heirs of the victims. After the Swiss authorities sought to arrest Meili, he was given political asylum in the United States.
1997 - Alan Parkinson, Nuclear Engineer, Australian Government
Alan Parkinson is a mechanical and nuclear engineer who wrote the 2007 book, ‘Maralinga: Australia’s Nuclear Waste Cover-up’, about the clean-up of the British atomic bomb test site at Maralinga in South Australia. In 1993, Parkinson became the key person on the Maralinga clean-up project, representing the then federal Labor government. By 1997, however, there was much cost-cutting involved which compromised the project, and personal differences about how the project should proceed, which led to the sacking of Parkinson by the new Howard government. The clean-up was totally unsatisfactory according to Parkinson and he exposed the situation through the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, provoking a strong rebuttal and personal abuse from the government.
1998 - Paul van Buitenen, European Commission
Accused European Commission members of corruption. Towards the end of 1998 the European Parliament's Committee on Budgetary Control initially refused to discharge the community's budget for 1996 over what it saw as the arrogance of the Commission in its refusal to answer questions relating to financial mismanagement. The whistle-blower van Buitenen, working in the Commission, had sent the Parliament a report alleging widespread fraud and cover ups, stating : "I found strong indications that . . . auditors have been hindered in their investigations and that officials received instructions to obstruct the audit examinations . . . The commission is a closed culture and they want to keep it that way, and my objective is to open it up, to create more transparency and to put power where it belongs – and that's in the democratically-elected European Parliament." In response, the Commission suspended him on half pay for releasing details of an inquiry. A report was presented to the Commission and Parliament in March 1999. It largely cleared most Commission members, but concluded that there was growing reluctance of the Commissioners to acknowledge responsibility and that "It was becoming increasingly difficult to find anyone who had the slightest sense of responsibility." On 15th March 1999 the Commission became the first to resign en masse due to these allegations of corruption. Commissioner Mario Monti criticised this stating that "This Commission has collectively resigned, I believe, not because of collective responsibility but because certain members of it preferred not to take their own individual responsibilities." A Member of the Commission, Édith Cresson, went before the European Court of Justice and, in July 2006, was found guilty but was not stripped of her pension.
1998 - Marc Holder, International Olympic Committee Member
IOC member who blew the whistle on the Winter Olympic bid scandal for the 2002 Salt Lake City games.
1998 - Linda Tripp, Clinton Administration (US)
Former White House staff member who disclosed to the Office of Independent Counsel that Monica Lewinsky committed perjury and attempted to suborn perjury, and President Bill Clinton committed misconduct, by denying the Clinton-Lewinsky relationship in the Paula Jones federal civil rights suit. A victim of retaliation by the Clinton Administration, Tripp successfully sued the Department of Defense and the Justice Department for releasing information from her security file and employment file to the news media in violation of the Privacy Act of 1974. In 2003, Tripp settled with the federal government for over $595,000. In addition, she received a retroactive promotion and retroactive pay for the years 1998, 1999, and 2000, a pension and was cleared to work for the federal government again.
1998 - Árpád Pusztai , Rowett Research Institute, Scotland (UK)
A biochemist, nutritionist, and a world expert on plant lectins, in 1998 he publicly announced that the results of his research showed that feeding genetically modified potatoes to rats had negative effects on their stomach lining and immune system. This led to Pusztai being suspended and his annual contract was not renewed. The resulting controversy became known as the Pusztai affair.
1999 - Harry Markopolos, former Securities Industry Executive
Harry Markopolos is an American former securities industry executive and an independent forensic accounting and financial fraud investigator. Markopolos discovered evidence over nine years suggesting that Bernard Madoff's wealth management business, Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC, was actually a massive Ponzi scheme. In 2000, 2001, and 2005, Markopolos alerted the U.S.Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of the fraud, supplying supporting documents, but each time, the SEC ignored him or only gave his evidence a cursory investigation. Madoff was finally uncovered as a fraud in December 2008, when his sons contacted the Federal Bureau of Investigation. After admitting to operating the largest private Ponzi scheme in history, Madoff was sentenced in 2009 to 150 years in prison. In 2010, Markopolos's book on uncovering the Madoff fraud was published, titled ‘No One Would Listen: A True Financial Thriller’. Markopolos has been scathing in his criticism of the SEC for both failing to discover the Madoff fraud despite repeated tips, and for failing to investigate properly the larger companies it supervised. He described the private moments he had with victims of the Madoff fraud as : "Heartfelt, gut-wrenching things. People trying to commit suicide or losing loved ones who’ve died of heartbreak."
1999 - Youri Bandazhevskey, Scientist (Russia)
Youri Bandazhevsky released the results that he accumulated about the health problems of children in the contaminated area of the catastrophic Chernobyl nuclear power station disaster which took place in 1986. He was arrested in July 1999.
1990s – 2000s - Marlene Garcia-Esperat, Phillipines Department of Agriculture
Former analytical chemist for the Philippines Department of Agriculture who became a journalist to expose departmental corruption, and was murdered in 2005. Her assailants later surrendered to police, and have testified that they were hired by officials in the Department of Agriculture.
1990s – 2000s - Janet Howard, Tanya Ward Jordan, Joyce Megginson, Department of Commerce (US)
Exposed widespread systemic racism and retaliation within the Department of Commerce against African-American employees.
2000s - Karen Kwiatkowski, United States Airforce
Retired lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Air Force who worked as a desk officer in The Pentagon and in a number of roles in the National Security Agency. She has written a number of essays on the corrupting political influences of military intelligence leading up to the invasion of Iraq in 2003, and has said that she was the anonymous source for Seymour Hersh andWarren Strobel in their exposés of pre-war intelligence.
2000s - Stefan Kruszewski, various Pharmaceutical Companies (US)
Kruszewski is a whistleblower, with settlements from suits brought against Southwood Psychiatric Hospital, Pfizer, Inc., and AstraZeneca. Kruszewski became aware of inadequate care and the exploitation of state-committed mentally ill children through overmedication and physical and chemical restraints while working for the Department of Public Welfare, Bureau of Program Integrity for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. When he refused to keep silent about his discoveries, he was fired from his position. Kruszewski won settlements for both a First Amendment case against the state of Pennsylvania as well as his first lawsuit against the hospital. In the cases against pharmaceutical giants, Pfizer and AstraZeneca, Kruszewski highlighted clinical science that was misrepresented by those companies in their marketing and promotion of certain drugs. He also demonstrated problems with off-label marketing (marketing that promotes uses, patients or doses that are not approved by the US FDA) which resulted in heightened, but often non-transparent, risk to the health of patients and exceptional costs to taxpayers and state and federal governments.
2000s - Guy Pearse, Fossil Fuel Companies, Australia
According to the research of Pearse, lobby groups representing the largest fossil fuel producing or consuming industries in Australia referred to themselves as the Greenhouse Mafia. These groups are represented in Canberra by the Australian Industry Greenhouse Network (AIGN). AIGN members boasted to Pearse in recorded interviews how they routinely gained access to what should be confidential information concerning government policy on energy and transport. Pearse cited recorded interviews with AIGN members and said that lobbyists had written cabinet submissions, ministerial briefings, and costings in two departments on at least half a dozen occasions over a decade. According to Pearse, those within groups lobbying for unrestricted greenhouse gas emissions have been able to ensure that government ministers hear mostly matching advice from their own departmental officials. Pearse says that this influence is entrenched to such an extent that fossil fuel industry lobby groups have actually been writing Australia's greenhouse policy at least since the Kyoto Protocol in 1998, and probably even before John Howard became Prime Minister in 1996. Disillusioned, Pearse became a whistleblower, and in July 2007, he released his book on the subject, ‘High & Dry: John Howard, Climate Change and the Selling of Australia’s Future’. In early 2007, Clive Hamilton wrote his book titled ‘Scorcher: The Dirty Politics of Climate Change’, drawing heavily on Pearse’s research.
2000 - Marsha Coleman-Adebayo (US / South Africa)
Marsha Coleman-Adebayo was a Senior Policy Analyst in the Office of the Administrator at the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). She blew the whistle on the EPA for racial and gender discrimination in violation of Civil Rights Act of 1964 which began after she was removed from her position in South Africa where her "job was to essentially help the South African government to work on issues that impact public health". In South Africa she brought to the attention of the EPA the dangerous conditions to which an American company was exposing African workers – they were mining vanadium, a dangerous substance. Her case eventually led to the passing of the No-FEAR Act in 2002 that makes federal agencies more accountable for employee complaints.
2001 - Pascal Diethelm & Jean-Charles Rielle (Philip Morris, USA and University of Geneva)
Swiss tobacco control advocates and alumni from the University of Geneva who revealed the secret ties of Ragnar Rylander, a professor of environmental health, to the tobacco industry. In a public statement made in 2001, Pascal Diethelm and Jean-Charles Rielle accused Rylander of being "secretly employed by Philip Morris" (the global tobacco corporation) and of "scientific fraud without precedent". They drew attention to his concealment of his links with the tobacco industry for a period of 30 years, during which he publicly presented himself as an independent scientist, while obeying orders given by Philip Morris executives and lawyers, publishing articles and organizing symposia which denied or trivialized the toxicity of secondhand or ‘passive’ smoke. After a long trial, which went up to the supreme court of Switzerland, all accusations were found to be true. Following this judgment, the University of Geneva prohibited its members from soliciting research subsidies or direct or indirect consultancies with the tobacco industry.
2001 - Jesselyn Radack, Department of Justice (US)
Radack, a DOJ lawyer, told Newsweek that the DOJ both lied about and destroyed documents regarding John Walker Lindh's interrogation and his parent's attempts to get him a lawyer. The DOJ retaliated by pushing her out of the Department, getting her fired from her next job, trying to get her law licence revoked, & other means.
2002 - Kathryn Bolkovac, United Nations International Police
Originally hired by the U.S. company DynCorp as part of a $15 million U.N. contract to hire and train police officers for duty in Bosnia. She eventually reported that such officers were paying for prostitutes and participating in sex-trafficking. Many of these were forced to resign under suspicion of illegal activity, but none have been prosecuted, as they also enjoy immunity from prosecution in Bosnia. Bolkovac filed a lawsuit in Great Britain against DynCorp for unfair dismissal due to a protected disclosure (whistleblowing), and on 2 August 2002 the tribunal unanimously found in her favor.
2002 - Cynthia Cooper (Worldcom) and Sherron Watkins (Enron), (US)
Exposed corporate financial scandal. Also, Coleen Rowley, Federal Bureau of Investigation (US). She outlined the FBI's slow action before the September 11, 2001 attacks. These three people were jointly named Time's People of the Year in 2002.
2002 - Diann Shipione, San Diego, California (US)
Diann Shipione, a former trustee of the San Diego, California City retirement board, is credited with exposing unlawful underfunding of the city's pension fund and the omission of multiple billions of dollars of pension and retiree healthcare debt in the City of San Diego municipal bond offering sales documents. She was, in her professional life, formerly a vice president at UBSFinancial Services. City officials and pension board trustees created a multi-year smear campaign, including filing ethics charges against her and plotting to have her arrested by the San Diego City Police. The scandal caused widespread fallout in the city's political and financial sectors. Several city officials resigned, including the City Auditor, City Manager, City Treasurer and the Mayor. The City became the target of two federal investigations and in November 2006, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission entered an order sanctioning the City of San Diego for committing securities fraud. Shipione was eventually proven right about her concerns and received public recognition for her pension system related services from many civic organizations in San Diego.
2003 - Courtland Kelley, General Motors (US)
Courtland Kelley was the head of the General Motors inspection and quality assurance program for many years. He found faults in the Chevrolet Cavilier and the Chevrolet Cobalt, and repeatedly reported them, with little response. He thought his supervisors were more interested in maintaining sales and their own positions than with expensive recalls. In 2003, Kelley sued GM alleging that the company had been slow to address the dangers in its cars and trucks. Even though he lost the court case, Kelley thought that by blowing the whistle he had done the right and proper thing. Faulty ignition switches in the Cobalts, which cut power to the car while in motion, were eventually linked to many crashes resulting in fatalities, starting with a teenager in 2005 who drove her new Cobalt into a tree. In May 2014 the NHTSA fined the company $35 million for failing to recall cars with faulty ignition switches for a decade, despite knowing there was a problem with the switches. Thirteen deaths were attributed to the faulty switches during the time the company failed to recall the cars.
2003 - Diane Urquhart, Canadian Government
Former senior securities industry executive who revealed to the Canadian House of Commons's finance committee that Canadian frozen non-bank asset-backed commercial paper caused a loss of $7–$13 billion held primarily by government, corporation pension funds and treasuries.
2003 - Katharine Gun, Government Communications HQ (UK)
Leaked top-secret information to the press concerning alleged illegal activities by the United States and the United Kingdom in their push for the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
2003 - Joseph Wilson, US Government
Former US ambassador, whose editorial in The New York Times, ‘What I Didn't Find In Africa’, showed reasons for the 2003 invasion of Iraq. In this article he stated “Did the Bush administration manipulate intelligence about Saddam Hussein's weapons programs to justify an invasion of Iraq? Based on my experience with the administration in the months leading up to the war, I have little choice but to conclude that some of the intelligence related to Iraq's nuclear weapons program was twisted to exaggerate the Iraqi threat.”(New York Times, 6 July 2003).
2003 - Satyendra Dubey, India National Highways Authority
Accused his employer NHAI of corruption in highway construction projects in India, in letter to Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee. Assassinated on November 27, 2003. Enormous media coverage following his death may lead to a Whistleblower Act in India.
2004 - Joe Darby, US Army
First alerted the U.S. military command of prisoner abuse in the Abu Ghraib prison, in Abu Ghraib, Iraq.
2004 - Hans-Peter Martin, Member of European parliament (Austria)
Early in 2004, he accused MEPs of all parties of falsely claiming travel and subsistence expenses. He produced evidence of MEP's signing the register in the morning to receive their daily allowance, and then immediately leaving the building. Broadcast on German TV, the accusations caused an uproar. The then European Parliament spokesman Hans Gert Pöttering dismissed Martin's accusations as unnecessarily aggressive and the President of the Parliament Pat Cox said that he would have preferred to deal with the case internally. In response, Martin was accused of claiming too much in meal expenses. He was later cleared of this charge. Eventually the disclosures and the public outrage induced by Martin's revelations resulted in a change of the expense system.
2004 - Craig Murray, British Ambassador to Uzbekistan
Exposed and opposed the Karimov regime's use of torture and its other violations of human rights, and British Government support for the use of torture.
2004 - Gerald Brown, Nuclear Power Consultant (US & Canada)
Nuclear power whistleblower Gerald W. Brown was a former firestop contractor and consultant who uncovered the Thermo-lag circuit integrity scandal and silicone foam scandals in U.S. and Canadian nuclear power plants, which led to Congressional proceedings as well as Provincial proceedings in the Canadian Province of Ontario concerning deficiencies in passive fire protection.
2004 - David Graham, Food and Drug Administration (US)
Discovered that the pain-reliever Vioxx increased the risk of cardiovascular problems, spoke out against the policies of the Food and Drug Administration, and succeeded in convincing the FDA to require large warning labels on Vioxx packaging.
2004 - Samuel Provance, United States Army
System administrator for U.S. Army Military Intelligence at the Abu Ghraib prison who publicly revealed the role of interrogators in the abuses, as well the general effort to cover-up the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse itself.
2004 - Peter Rost, Pfizer (US)
Former vice president at the pharmaceutical company who reported about accounting irregularities and other irregularities to the US authorities. In response to his whistleblowing he was exiled internally by Pfizer and removed from all responsibilities and decision making. In 2004, he testified in Congress as a private individual in favour of drug re-importation, a position strongly at odds with the official policy of the pharmaceutical industry. In December 2005, Rost was fired from Pfizer. In September 2006 he published his experiences in the book ‘The Whistleblower : Confessions of a Healthcare Hitman’.
2005 - Toni Hoffman, Senior Nurse, Queensland Health, Australia
A senior Australian nurse who exposed the medical malpractice of surgeon Jayant Patel. She originally began to raise doubts about the ability of Patel with hospital management and other staff. Both doctors and surgeons who were familiar with his work were also deeply concerned. Patel became the subject of the Morris Inquiry and later the Davies Commission. Eventually the matter was raised in the Queensland Parliament. Hoffman received the 2006 Australian of the Year Local Hero Award and an Order of Australia Medal, for her role as a whistleblower.
2005 - Russ Tice, Intelligence Analyst, US Government
Former intelligence analyst for the National Security Agency (NSA), the U.S. Air Force, the Office of Naval Intelligence, and the Defense Intelligence Agency. Tice first approached Congress and eventually the media about the warrantless surveillance of the US population by the NSA. Tice was a major source for the 2005 New York Times exposé and spoke out widely following subsequent disclosures by other NSA whistleblowers. He was the first to speak publicly and openly with allegations during the era beginning with the George W. Bush administration (and continuing into the Obama administration).
2005-11 - Thomas Andrews Drake, National Security Agency (US)
Thomas Drake worked at the NSA in various analyst and management positions. He blew the whistle on the NSA's Trailblazer project that he felt was a violation of the Fourth Amendment and other laws and regulations. He contacted The Baltimore Sun which published articles about waste, fraud, and abuse at the NSA, including stories about Trailblazer. In April 2010, Drake was indicted by a grand jury on various charges, including obstructing justice and making false statements. After the May 22, 2011 broadcast of a 60 Minutes episode on the Drake case, the government dropped all of the charges against Drake and agreed not to seek any jail time in return for Drake's agreement to plead guilty to a misdemeanor of misusing the agency’s computer system. Drake was sentenced to one year of probation and community service.
2005 - Bunnatine (‘Bunny’) Greenhouse, Halliburton (US)
Former chief civilian contracting officer for the United States Army Corps of Engineers who exposed illegality in the no-bid contracts for reconstruction in Iraq by a Halliburton subsidiary. Halliburton is an American multinational corporation, and one of the world's largest oil field services companies, with operations in more than 80 countries. It owns hundreds of subsidiaries, affiliates, branches, brands, and divisions worldwide and employs approximately 70,000 people. In the period between 1995 and 2000 Halliburton’s Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer was Dick Cheney, subsequently Vice President of the US under George Bush.
2005-9 - Brad Birkenfeld, UBS (Switzerland)
An American banker who formerly worked for UBS, Switzerland's largest bank, he was the first person who exposed what has become a multibillion-dollar international tax fraud scandal over Swiss private banking. He provided extensive and voluntary cooperation with the U.S. government, registering as an IRS whistleblower, Birkenfeld is the only U.S. citizen to be sentenced to prison as a result of the scandal.
2005 - Shawn Carpenter, Sandia National Laboratories (US)
Discovered that a sophisticated group of hackers were systematically penetrating hundreds of computer networks at major U.S. defense contractors, military installations and government agencies to access sensitive information. After informing his superiors at Sandia, he was directed not to share the information with anyone, because management cared only about Sandia's computers. He, however, went on to voluntarily work with the U.S. Army and the Federal Bureau of Investigation(FBI) to address the problem. When Sandia discovered his actions, they terminated his employment and revoked his security clearance. His story was first reported in the September 5, 2005, issue of Time. On February 13, 2007, a New Mexico State Court awarded him $4.7 million in damages from Sandia Corporation for firing him. The jury found Sandia Corporation's handling of Mr. Carpenter's firing was "malicious, willful, reckless, wanton, fraudulent, or in bad faith."
2005 - Rick Piltz, NASA (US)
Exposed Philip Cooney, a White House official who edited a climate change report to reflect the administration's views without having any scientific background.
2005 - Shanmughan Manjunath, Indian Oil Corporation
Former manager at Indian Oil Corporation Ltd (IOCL), and spoke against adulteration of petrol. He was shot dead on November 19, 2005, allegedly by a petrol pump owner from Uttar Pradesh.
2005 - Paul Moore, HBOS (UK)
Executive at the UK bank HBOS who in 2005 was fired, allegedly after warning his senior colleagues that the company's sales strategy was at odds with prudent management. In 2009 Moore spoke out about his warnings to the Treasury Select Committee of parliament during its investigation into the turmoil in the UK banking system.
2006 - Gary Aguirre, Securities & Exchange Commission (US)
Exposed the SEC's failure to pursue investigation of John Mack in insider trading case involving Pequot Capital Management and Arthur J Samberg. Aguirre was fired for complaining about special treatment for Mack, which prompted investigations by the Senate Finance Committee and the Senate Judiciary Committee, culminating in a joint report vindicating Aguirre. Through his FOIA request filed to learn more about his wrongful termination, he uncovered the "smoking gun" that forced the SEC to re-open its case against Pequot, leading to a settlement of $28 million in 2009. A month later, the SEC settled Aguirre's lawsuit for wrongful termination, paying $755,000. Aguirre also won a lawsuit against the SEC filed in District Court.
2006 - Michael DeKort, Department of `Homeland Security (US)
An American systems engineer andproject manager at Lockheed Martin who posted a whistleblowing video on YouTube about the Lockheed Integrated Deepwater System Program.
2006 - Mark Klein, AT&T, NSA (US)
Retired communications technician for AT&T who revealed the details of the secret 2003 construction of a monitoring facility in Room 641A of 611 Folsom Street in San Francisco, the site of a large SBC phone building, three floors of which are occupied by AT&T. The facility is alleged to be one of several operated by the National Security Agency as part of the warrantless surveillance undertaken by the Bush administration in the wake of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
2006 - Cate Jenkins, Environmental Protection Agency (US)
Wrote memos to the EPA Inspector General, U.S. Congress, and FBI detailing the chemical composition of dust from the September 11 attacks and its hazards to responders. She alerted ‘The New York Times’ in 2000 and said in a 2009 CBS interview that the EPA explicitly lied about the danger of the dust which caused chemical burns in the lungs of responders, debilitating illnesses in many that included fatalities, and that it could have been prevented with proper safety equipment. Jenkins claims that the EPA has been misleading about evidence of debris inhalation hazards since the 1980s. She was fired and in 2012 successfully sued to be reinstated.
2006-7 - Richard Bowen III, Citigroup (US)
Starting in June 2006, Senior Vice President Richard M. Bowen III, the chief underwriter of Citigroup's Consumer Lending Group, began warning the board of directors about the extreme risks being taken on by the mortgage operation that could potentially result in massive losses. When Bowen first blew the whistle in 2006, 60% of the mortgages were defective. The amount of bad mortgages began increasing throughout 2007 and eventually exceeded 80% of the volume. Many of the mortgages were not only defective, but were fraudulent. Bowen attempted to rouse the board via weekly reports and other communications. On 3 November 2007, Bowen emailed Citigroup Chairman Robert Rubin and the bank's chief financial officer, chief auditor and the chief risk management officer to again expose the risk and potential losses, and claiming that the group's internal controls had broken down. He requested an outside investigation of his business unit that eventually confirmed his charges. In retaliation, Citigroup stripped Bowen of most of his responsibilities and informing him that his physical presence was no longer required at the bank.
2006-13 - Adam Resnick, Omnicare (US)
Starting in 2006, Resnick sued the pharmaceutical company Omnicare, a major supplier of drugs to nursing homes, under federal whistleblower law, as well as the parties to the company’s illegal kickback schemes. Omnicare allegedly paid kickbacks to nursing home operators in order to secure business, which constitutes Medicare and Medicaid fraud. In 2010, Omnicare settled a False Claims Act suit filed by Resnick and taken up by the U.S. Department of Justice by paying $19.8 million to the federal government, while the two nursing homes involved in the scheme settled for $14 million. A second whistleblower lawsuit filed against Omnicare it by Resnick and Total Pharmacy Services V.P. Maureen Nehls related to kickbacks that were part of its 2004 acquisition of Total Pharmacy Services was settled for $17.2 million by Omnicare and $5 million by the Total Pharmacy owners.
2007-9 - Sergei Magnitsky, Accountant and Auditor (Russia)
A Russian accountant and auditor whose arrest and subsequent death in custody generated international media attention and triggered both official and unofficial inquiries into allegations of fraud, theft and human rights violations. Magnitsky had alleged there had been a large-scale theft from the Russian state sanctioned and carried out by Russian officials. He was arrested and eventually died in prison seven days before the expiration of the one-year term during which he could be legally held without trial. In total, Magnitsky served 358 days in Moscow's notorious Butyrka prison. He developed gall stones, pancreatitis and a blocked gall bladder and received inadequate medical care. A human rights council set up by the Kremlin found that he was beaten up just before he died. In 2013, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit news organization, obtained records of companies and trusts created by two offshore companies which included information on at least 23 companies linked to an alleged $230 million tax fraud in Russia, a case that was being investigated by Sergei Magnitsky. The ICIJ investigation also revealed that the husband of one of the Russian tax officials deposited millions in a Swiss bank account set up by one of the offshore companies.
2007 - John Kiriakou, Central Intelligence Agency (US)
In an interview to ABC News on December 10, CIA officer Kiriakou disclosed that the agency waterboarded detainees and that this constituted torture. In the months following, Kiriakou passed the identity of a covert CIA operative to a reporter. He was convicted of violating theIntelligence Identities Protection Act and sentenced, on January 25, 2013, to 30 months imprisonment. Having served the first months of his service he wrote an open letter describing the inhuman circumstances at the correction facility.
2008 - Anat Kamm, Israeli Defense Force
She leaked documents to the media that revealed the IDF had been engaging in extrajudicial killings. While serving as an assistant in the Central Command bureau, Kamm secretly copied classified documents that she leaked to the Israeli Haaretz journalist Uri Blau after her military service was over. The leak suggested that the IDF had defied a court ruling against assassinating wanted militants in the West Bank who could potentially be arrested safely. Kamm was convicted of espionage and providing confidential information without authorization.
2008-12 - Robert McCarthy, Government Solicitor (US)
Served as Field Solicitor for the U.S. Department of the Interior and as General Counsel, U.S. Section, International Boundary and Water Commission. The Oklahoma Bar Association honored him in 2008 with its Fern Holland Courageous Lawyer Award for helping to expose the Interior Department’s mismanagement of $3.5 billion in Indian trust resources. In 2009, McCarthy disclosed massive fraud, waste and abuse by the IBWC, that imperiled the health and safety of millions of people on both sides of the US-Mexico border and seriously damaged the border ecosystem. In both cases he was forced from government service, but continued to advocate for the victims of government abuse. In addition, his scholarly publications have revealed the fatal flaws in whistleblower protection laws, as well as the need for radical reform of specific government agencies.
2009 - Herve Falciani, HSBC (Switzerland)
Since 2009 he has been collaborating with numerous European nations by providing information relating to more than 130,000 suspected tax evaders with Swiss bank accounts - specifically those with accounts in HSBC's Swiss subsidiary HSBC Private Bank
2000-10 - Cathy Harris, former Customs Officer (US)
A former United States Customs Service employee who exposed rampant racial profiling against black travellers while working at Hartsfield International Airport in Atlanta, Georgia. According to Harris's book, ‘Flying While Black: A Whistleblower's Story’, she personally observed numerous incidents of black travellers being stopped, frisked, body-cavity-searched, detained for hours at local hospitals, forced to take laxatives, bowel-monitored and subjected to public and private racist/colorist humiliation. The book also details her allegations of mismanagement, abuses of authority, prohibited personnel practices, waste, fraud, violation of laws, rules and regulations, corruption, nepotism, cronyism, favoritism, workplace violence, racial and sexual harassment, sexism, intimidation, on and off the job stalking, etc., and other illegal acts that occur daily to federal employees especially female federal employees at U.S. Customs and other federal agencies.
2009 - Ramin Pourandarjani, Physician (Iran)
An Iranian physician who reported on the state use of torture on political prisoners. He died of poisoning shortly thereafter.
2009 - John Kopchinski, Pfizer (US)
Former Pfizer sales representative and West Point graduate whose whistleblower lawsuit launched a massive government investigation into Pfizer’s illegal and dangerous marketing of Bextra, a prescription painkiller. Pfizer paid $1.8 billion to the government to settle the case, including a $1.3 billion criminal fine, which was the largest criminal fine ever imposed for any matter. The Bextra settlement was part of a $2.3 billion global settlement – the largest healthcare fraud settlement in U.S. history.
2009 - Jim Wetta, Joseph Faltaous, Steven Woodward, Jaydeen Vincente, Robret Rudolph, Hector Rosado, Robert Evan Dawitt, William Lofing, Bradly Lutz – Sales representatives for Eli Lilly (US)
Nine sales representatives for Eli Lilly filed separate lawsuits against the company for illegally marketing the drug Zyprexa for uses not approved by the Food and Drug Administration. According to the settlement, the drug was marketed for other medical conditions not approved by the FDA, known as off-label use. The Governments investigation was triggered by a lawsuit filed by nine sales representatives (Relators). Eli Lilly pled guilty to actively promoting Zyprexa for off-label uses, particularly for the treatment of dementia in the elderly. The $1.415 billion penalty included an $800 million civil settlement and a $515 million criminal fine—the largest criminal fine for an individual corporation in United States history. Contingent upon the United States receiving the Federal Settlement amount, the nine whistle blowers shared $78,870,877, of the federal share of the civil settlement.
2009 - Linda Almonte, JP Morgan Chase (US)
Filed suit under the Dodd Frank Act whistleblower program regarding alleged corrupt practices including robosigning at JP Morgan.
2010 - Chelsea (formerly Bradley) Manning, US Army
US Army intelligence analyst who released the largest set of classified documents ever, mostly published by WikiLeaks and their media partners. The material included videos of the July 12, 2007 US helicopter airstrike in Baghdad which killed 12 civilians, and of the 2009 Granai airstrike in Afghanistan; 250,000 United States diplomatic cables (including many sensitive messages between US Diplomats); and 500,000 army reports that came to be known as the Iraq War logs and Afghan War logs. Manning was convicted of violating the Espionage Act and other offences and sentenced to 35 years in prison. In the last days of the Barack Obama Presidency, in January 2017, her sentence was commuted and she was released in May 2017. In the words of the journalist Glenn Greenwald - who was involved in the publication of leaks from Edward Snowden - said that Manning faced a difficult life outside prison…………… "She's going to live in a country where the top officials have expressed extreme denunciations of her, condemnations of her, who regard her as a traitor," he said - "But the reality is that if you look back at what it is that she achieved, she revealed unquestionable war crimes, her disclosures led to reforms around the world."
2002-10 - Cheryl Eckard, GlaxoSmithKline
GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) whistleblower Cheryl D. Eckard exposed contamination problems at GSK's pharmaceutical manufacturing operations, which led to a $750 million settlement with the U.S. government related to civil and criminal charges that the firm manufactured and sold adulterated pharmaceutical products. Eckard was awarded $96 million in 2010, a record for an individual whistleblower, since surpassed by UBS AG whistleblower Bradley Birkenfeld's $104 million award.
2010 - Jim Wetta, AstraZeneca
AstraZeneca (AZ) whistleblower Jim (James) Wetta filed a False Claims case that triggered the United States Department of Justice investigation into AstraZeneca violating the Federal Anti-Kickback Statute and promoting the unapproved use of the (anti-psychotic) drug Seroquel. In September 2000, the drug Seroquel received FDA approval for the short-term treatment of schizophrenia, then in 2004, for bipolar depression. James Wetta exposed the company's alleged fraud, where sales reps were promoting the drug for a wide range of less serious disorders which included aggression, Alzheimer's disease, anger management, anxiety, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, bipolar maintenance, dementia, depression, mood disorder, sleeplessness and post-traumatic stress disorder. Promoting drugs off-label amounts to fraud under the False Claims Act, as the unapproved uses were not medically accepted indications for which the federal and state Medicaid programs provided coverage. Under the Food, Drug and Cosmetics Act, a company must specify the intended use of a product in its new drug application to the FDA. Once the drug is approved by the FDA, the drug may not be marketed or promoted for off-label uses. The civil settlement agreement required AstraZeneca to pay $520 million to the federal government to resolve civil settlements. Jim Wetta provided the information which proved the drug was promoted for conditions other then the FDA medical indication.
2011 - M N Vijayakumar, Indian Administrative Service
Exposed serious corrupt practices at high levels.
2011 - Blake Percival, the security firm USIS (US)
The company USIS was founded in 1996 after the investigative branch of the United States Office of Personnel Management(OPM) was privatized by the US government in an effort to reduce the size of the civil service. USIS provided security-based information and service solutions to both government and corporate customers, in the United States and abroad. Percival filed a Whistleblower claim alleging that USIS had defrauded the U.S. Government by submitting unfinished background investigations to the government for payment. In the fiscal year 2012 the company received $253 million for the contract work of the OPM, 67% of the OPM's contract spending for the year. USIS has been under scrutiny since it was revealed that they had performed the background investigation of Edward Snowden among others.
2011 - Everett Stern, HSBC (US)
Compliance officer for HSBC who uncovered billions of dollars of illegal money laundering transactions that he began reporting to the FBI and the CIA in 2011, which led to an SEC investigation and a $1.92 billion fine against HSBC the following year. These encompassed charges of money laundering for drug traffickers, terrorist financiers, and nations under U.S. and international sanctions.
2012 - Vijay Pandhare, Chief Engineer, Irrigation Department, Government of Maharashtra, (India)
Pandhare was a bureaucrat belonging to the Irrigation Department in the Indian state of Maharashtra. He blew the whistle on the Maharashtra Irrigation Scam of 2012 that led to the resignation of Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar.
2012 - Joshua Wilson, Captain, United States Airforce
Wilson and Major Jeremy Gordon exposed the malfunctioning oxygen system on board the F-22 Raptor systems that were causing pilots to become disoriented, first to superior officers and then to CBS ‘60 Minutes’. As a result, Wilson's superiors cancelled his promotion to Major, took him off flying duty and threatened to take away his wings. Wilson was also forced out of his desk job at Air Combat Command. No such actions faced Major Gordon.
2012 - Carmen Segarra, US New York Federal Reserve's appointed regulator to Goldman Sachs (US)
She discovered that Goldman Sachs did not have a conflict of interest policy when it advised El Paso Corp. on selling itself to Kinder Morgan, a company which Goldman Sachs owned a $4 billion stake. She was forced by her superiors at the Federal Reserve to falsify her report, but stated that her professional view of the situation had not changed. She was shortly thereafter fired. The New York Federal Reserve disputes that she was fired in retaliation.
2012 - Silver Meikar, Estonian Reform Party
In May 2012 Meikar published an article, admitting that he had donated cash to Estonian Reform Party in 2009 and 2010, coming from unknown sources and given him by co-politician Kalev Lillo, according to a proposition made by Kristen Michal, Reform Party's secretary general. The scandal became known as Silvergate. Lillo and Michal were presented with criminal charges. After a long and heated discussion in media, charges were dropped, as it was not possible to gather enough evidence. On October 24, 2012, Meikar was expelled from the party. Consequently, Kristen Michal stepped down as the minister of justice.
2012 - Antoine Deltour, Price Waterhouse Coopers (Luxembourg, etc)
In 2012 Deltour's leaking of 28,000 pages of confidential documents revealing how multinational companies routed funds to lower corporate tax bills, gave rise to the Luxembourg Leaks journalistic investigation and attracted international attention to tax avoidance schemes in Luxembourg and elsewhere. There was no suggestion that the arrangements were illegal under Luxembourg law, but the disclosures prompted wider public debate on corporate tax avoidance schemes and criminal charges against Deltour.
2013 - David Weber, United States Securities and Exchange Commission
Weber, an attorney and Certified Fraud Examiner, was the assistant inspector general of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. He learned of misconduct in the Bernard Madoff and Allen Stanford investigations, and of suspected hacking by a unit of the Chinese military. He insisted that agency management report the misconduct and hacking to Congressional Oversight Committees, but instead was terminated for supposedly unrelated reasons. Shortly after his lawsuit became public, news stories broke that the Chinese People’s Liberation Army had compromised information technology at 160 U.S. corporations and government agencies.
2013 - Edward Snowden, National Security Agency (US)
Booz Allen Hamilton contractor Snowden released classified material on top-secret NSA programs including the PRISM surveillance program to ‘The Guardian’ and ‘The Washington Post’ in June 2013. (More on Edward Snowden here
2013 - Laurence do Rego, Executive Director in Charge of Risk and Finance Ecobank Transnational (Nigeria)
She wrote a letter to the Nigerian Securities and Exchange Commission highlighting attempts by the bank's Chairman and Executive Director to sell off assets well below the market value, write off debt, manipulate financial results and award the incoming chief executive an unapproved bonus of US$1.14 million. As a result, do Rego was suspended from her role in the bank. After a nine-month battle over allegations of mismanagement, the Ecobank board decided to unanimously remove the controversial chief executive and reinstate do Rego to her post.
2014 - J Kirk McGill, Auditor
McGill works for the Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA), an agency of the United States Department of Defense. Its duties include financial auditing in connection with negotiation, administration and settlement of contracts and subcontracts. McGill was the auditor-in-charge of a 2013 audit of the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) conducted on behalf of the Office of the Inspector General of the National Science Foundation (NSF). The audit concluded that NEON and the NSF had conspired to evade the prohibition against payment of certain costs to Government grantees including : Lobbying, Christmas parties, luxury foreign travel, and alcohol. The audit was later overruled by top DCAA management. McGill reported the improper overruling of the audit, which violated Generally Accepted Government Auditing Standards, to theOffice of the Inspector General, United States Department of Defense and DCAA's Internal Review Directorate. Neither watchdog took any action to address McGill's concerns, despite being notified as early as January 2014 of the problem. McGill then reported the findings and the alleged cover up to various senior government Senators and Representatives. Senators Paul and Grassley jointly inquired into the matter and substantiated the allegations and began a formal Congressional investigation into not only NEON and the NSF - but the entire Federal Government's use of "management fees" for nonprofits. He has refused to comment to the media upon the matter beyond the information in the public record due to the restrictions of public service legal responsibilities, making him one of the few modern Federal whistleblowers to stay at his post and continue to follow his employer's policies and Federal nondisclosure laws despite facing retaliation.