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Attorney General nominee William Barr this morning committed to “diligently uphold” the False Claims Act during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on his nomination. Under questioning from Sen. Chuck Grassley, Barr said the constitutionality of the law has been upheld by the Supreme Court. Grassley asked: “If confirmed do you commit to not take action to undermine the False Claims Act? Further if confirmed will you continue Justice department staff and funding levels to to…
While serving as Assistant Attorney General under the first President Bush, William Barr took aim at the whistleblower provisions of the False Claims Act. Now President Donald Trump’s Attorney General nominee, Barr stood alone among top Justice Department officials in vehemently opposing” the provisions,  Stephen M. Kohn, a partner in the firm Kohn, Kohn and Colapinto writes in the January 13 issue of The Hill. “Although his arguments against the False Claims Act have…
Laws on the books designed to protect wildlife whistleblowers have been underutilized, according to a spring report from the Government Accounting Office.  Now, two groups devoted to wildlife protection have joined with the National Whistleblower Center to help ensure that U.S. agencies use the tools they have to protect animals and fisheries and prevent trafficking. Thinking Animals United is an advocacy group that works “to galvanize worldwide support for the care, protection, and conservation…
Is the False Claims Act an “abomination”? Are whistleblowers “bounty hunters”? That’s what Attorney General nominee William Barr said during in a 2001 interview conducted at the University of Virginia’s Miller Center. Now, a group of advocates, academics and attorneys has asked U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley to find out if Barr still feels that way after 18 years. Committee hearings on Barr’s nomination begin on January 15.…
Tinker Ready, a journalist who has worked with whistleblowers throughout her career as a writer and investigative reporter, is the new editor of the Whistleblower Protection Blog. With the help of whistleblowers, Ready has written important stories about medical conflicts of interest, poor conditions in nursing homes, and disease in an industrial slaughterhouse. Find her coverage of health, science and general news in NEO.LIFEThe Boston GlobeUndarkNature BostonFast
On Wednesday, December 12, 2018, National Whistleblower Center (NWC) Executive Director Stephen M. Kohn made a formal presentation to representatives from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) opposing the proposed SEC rule  limiting awards in major fraud cases.  Kohn was joined by NWC Policy Counsel Maya Efrati and NWC Legal Fellow Sarah Khan. The packed room included SEC leadership from the Office of General Counsel, the SEC Whistleblower Office and the Office of the…
Protecting and incentivizing whistleblowers is essential to combat environmental crimes The world is facing daunting environmental challenges, many exacerbated by corruption. A number of the planet’s protected species are disappearing rapidly, due in part to the illegal trade in flora and fauna, and corruption comes into play as traffickers often rely on fraudulent paperwork to move parts from endangered species and illegal timber across borders.…
A recent investigation into wildlife trafficking highlights the importance of improving whistleblower incentives in the wildlife crimes sphere. Through “Operation Dragon,” the Wildlife Justice Commission (“WJC”) investigated the ties between the trafficking of endangered and CITES-listed freshwater turtles and the corruption that facilitates that illicit trade. Over the course of two years, WJC used undercover investigators to document operations of eight major trafficking networks in South Asia and the corrupt customs and transportation officials that…