List of whistleblowers
This is a list of major whistleblowers from various countries. The individuals below brought attention to abuses of government or large corporations. Many of these whistleblowers were fired from their jobs or prosecuted in the process of shining light on their issue of concern. This list is not exhaustive.
|1515–52||Bartolomé de las Casas||Spanish slave plantations in the New World||In 1515, he advocated, before King Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, on behalf of rights for the natives. In his early writings, he advocated the use of African slaves instead of natives in the West-Indian colonies. Later in life, he came to see all forms of slavery as equally wrong.|
|1777||Samuel Shaw||United States Continental 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||United States 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 State withdrew 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||United States 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.|
|1963||John Paul Vann||United States 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||United States Public Health Service||Exposed the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment.|
|1967||John White||United States Navy||U.S. Navy Lieutenant Jg, White wrote this letter to the editor of the New Haven (CT) 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||United States State Department||Ellsberg was a former RAND Corp. military analyst who, along with Anthony Russo, leaked the Pentagon Papers, a secret account of the Vietnam War to The New York Times. The Pentagon Papers revealed endemic practices of deception by previous administrations, and contributed to the erosion of public support for the war. The release triggered a legal case concerning government efforts to prevent the publication of classified information that was heard by the U.S. Supreme Court (New York Times Co. v. United States (403 U.S. 713)). Ellsberg himself was the subject of retaliation by the Nixon Administration.|
|1971||Frank Serpico||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||National Security Agency||Former NSA 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 Criminal Code, mainly on the ground 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||Federal Bureau of Investigation||Known only as Deep Throat until 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 and presidential adviser John Ehrlichman.|
|1973||Stanley Adams||Hoffmann-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 receive compensation from the EEC.|
|1973||A. Ernest Fitzgerald||United States Department of Defense||U.S. Department of Defense auditor who was fired in 1973 by President Richard M. Nixon for exposing to Congress the tidal wave of cost overruns associated with Lockheed's C-5A cargo plane. After protracted litigation he was reinstated to the civil service and continued to report cost overruns and military contractor fraud, including discovery in the 1980s that the Air Force was being charged $400 for hammers and $600 for toilet seats. Fitzgerald retired from the Defense Department in 2006.|
|1973–1997||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 the United States Atomic Energy Commission about her concerns. The 1983 film Silkwood is an account of this story.|
|1976||Gregory C. Minor, Richard B. Hubbard, and Dale G. Bridenbaugh||General Electric||Nuclear power whistleblowers. On February 2, 1976, Gregory C. Minor, Richard B. Hubbard, and Dale G. Bridenbaugh (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||Central Intelligence Agency||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||United Kingdom 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 General Belgrano was sunk by British forces during the Falklands War while outside the total exclusion zone, contradicting statements by the Thatcher Government.|
|1984||John Michael Gravitt||General Electric||Became the first individual in 40 years to file a qui tam 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||Bofors||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 commonly is referred to as Lex Bratt.|
|1985||Cathy Massiter||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 J. 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 noncompliance 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 reports made to internal systems and prevent retaliation against whistleblowers.|
|1986||Mordechai Vanunu||Israeli nuclear weapons program||Revealed Israel's clandestine nuclear program to the British press. He spent seventeen and a half years in prison as a result, the first eleven of these in solitary confinement. After his release, sanctions were placed on him: among others, he was not allowed to leave Israel or speak to foreigners. The sanctions have been renewed every twelve months. At present, he is appealing a further six-month prison sentence imposed by an Israeli court for having spoken to foreigners and foreign press.|
|1988||Peter Wright||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 the 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 Law Lords. Eventually, in 1988, the book was cleared for legitimate sale when the Law Lords acknowledged that overseas publication meant it 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||Gibeault filed a qui tam 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 qui tam actions against Genisco's parent company, Texas Instruments.|
|1989||Douglas D. Keeth||United Technologies Corporation||Filed a qui tam 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 a bounty of $22.5 million.|
|1989||William Schumer||Hughes Aircraft||Filed a lawsuit 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.|
|1989–1991||Myron Mehlman||Mobil||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 Gundersen||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 U.S. 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||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 has been vigorously defended by government lawyers and has dragged in the courts for over 10 years.|
|1992||||Mark Whitacre||Archer Daniels Midland||PhD scientist and former Divisional President with Archer Daniels Midland, who worked with the FBI as a secret informant, to blow the whistle on price-fixing cartel in his company. This story is featured in the film The Informant! where Whitacre is portrayed by Matt Damon.|
|1992||Keith A. Schooley||Keith A. Schooley (born 1952) 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.|
|1994||André Cicolella||French Institute for Research and Security||André Cicolella showed that malformation of foetus are associated with professional exposition of their mothers to glycol ethers. The French Institute for Research and Security decided not to allow him to chair or participate in a symposium that he was organising on health risks linked with ether glycols and fire him. In 1998, justice confirms that the researcher was right.|
|1994–95||William Sanjour||United States Environmental Protection Agency||Whistleblower at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for over 20 years who also wrote on whistleblower protection issues. He won a landmark lawsuit against the federal government which established the First Amendment rights of federal employees to "blow the whistle" on their employer.[Sanjour v. EPA,56 F.3d 85 (D.C. Cir. 1995)(en banc)]|
|1996||George Galatis||Nuclear power industry||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 in Case Number 95-771, the report of which tells the whole story. George Galatis 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||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||Allan Cutler||Canadian government||The first whistleblower on the Canadian "AdScam" or sponsorship scandal. Without legal protection, he was fired by the Canadian government. As the case developed, federal legislation was passed to protect future whistleblowers in the Canadian civil service. Several convictions have been recorded to date with the case, with proceedings still in progress.|
|1996||David Franklin||Parke-Davis||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 a 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 receives $24.6m as part of the settlement agreement.|
|1996||Michael Ruppert||Los Angeles Police Department||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.|
|1996–1998||Nancy Olivieri||Apotex||Starting in 1996, Nancy Olivieri was part of a group conducting a clinical trial in order to evaluate the use of a drug of Apotex, deferiprone, in treating persons with a blood disorder, thalassaemia. During the course of the trial, Olivieri became concerned about evidence that pointed to the toxicity of the study drug and to the drug being inefficacious. 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||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 and the Oklahoma City bombing case. 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 now directs the FBI Oversight Project of the National Whistleblower Center.|
|1997||David Shayler||MI5||Along with girlfriend Annie Machon, 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||UBS||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||Australian Government||Alan Parkinson is a mechanical and nuclear engineer who has written 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||Shiv Chopra||Canadian government||
|1998||Paul van Buitenen||European Commission||Accused European Commission members of corruption. (See Resignation of the Santer Commission).|
|1998||Marc Hodler||International Olympic Committee||IOC member who blew the whistle on the Winter Olympic bid scandal for the 2002 Salt Lake City games.|
|1998||Linda Tripp||Clinton Administration||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.|
|1999||Harry Markopolos||Early whistleblower of suspected securities fraud by Bernard Madoff, tipping off the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) repeatedly.|
|1999||Youri Bandazhevsky||In 1999, Youri Bandazhevsky released the results that he accumulated about the health problems of children in the contaminated area of Chernobyl. He is arrested in July 1999.|
|1990s–2000s||Marlene Garcia-Esperat||Philippines 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 and Joyce E. Megginson||United States Department of Commerce||Exposed widespread systemic racism and retaliation within the Department of Commerce against African-American employees.|
|2000s||Karen Kwiatkowski||United States Air Force||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 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 and Warren Strobel on their exposés of pre-war intelligence.|
|2000s||Stefan P. Kruszewski||Pharmaceutical companies||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 exploiting 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 at the state. Kruszewski won settlements for both a First Amendment case against the state of Pennsylvania as well as his first Qui tam lawsuit against the hospital. In the cases against pharmaceutical giants, Pfizer and AstraZeneca, Kruszewski highlighted clinical science that was misrepresented by the defendants 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||Large fossil fuel companies in 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, Pearse 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||United States Environmental Protection Agency||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 an American company was exposing African workers who were mining to 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||Joseph Nacchio||Qwest /National Security Agency||Nacchio was chairperson and CEO of Qwest when it refused to participate in NSA spying on its customers in February 2001. Qwest was the only telecommunications company to require FISA court orders. Nacchio claims that in retaliation, Qwest subsequently was denied government contracts.|
|2001||Pascal Diethelm (see French Wikipedia), Jean-Charles Rielle (see French Wikipedia)||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 (see French Wikipedia), 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" and qualified of "scientific fraud without precedent" the 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 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||United States Department of Justice||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 UN 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 August 2, 2002 the tribunal unanimously found in her favor.|
|2002||Cynthia Cooper||Worldcom||Exposed corporate financial scandal. Jointly named Time's People of the Year in 2002.|
|2002||Sherron Watkins||Enron||Exposed corporate financial scandal. Jointly named Time's People of the Year in 2002.|
|2002||Diann Shipione||San Diego||Diann Shipione, a former trustee of the San Diego 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.
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.
|2002||Coleen Rowley||Federal Bureau of Investigation||Outlined the FBI's slow action before the September 11, 2001 attacks. Jointly named Time's People of the Year in 2002.|
J. Kirke Wiebe
|National Security Agency||NSA officials initially joined House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence staffer Diane Roark in asking U.S. Department of Defense inspector general to investigate wasteful spending on the Trailblazer Project and the NSA officials eventually went public when they were ignored and retaliated upon. They claim that Thinthread was more focused thus more effective and lower cost than Trailblazer and subsequent programs, which automatically collected trillions of domestic communications of Americans in deliberate violation of the U.S. Constitution.|
|2002||Marta Andreasen||European Commission||Argentine-born Spanish accountant, employed by the European Commission as Chief Accountant, and notable for raising concerns about fraud potential within EU, neglected by the Commission.|
Steven L. Doran
|University of California
Los Alamos National Laboratory
|Glenn Walp and Steven L. Doran were hired to investigate allegations of fraud at the University of California's Los Alamos National Laboratory. They were fired after they exposed breaches of security as well as fraud and mismanagement to the Department of Energy. Their investigation resulted in congressional hearings. Walpo received a $930,000 settlement from the University of California (UC) for wrongful termination. Doran accepted UC's offer of a position as security consultant.|
|2002||Sibel Edmonds||Federal Bureau of Investigation||Former FBI translator naturalized American citizen of Turkish descent who was fired in 2002 by the FBI for attempting to report coverups of security issues, potential espionage, and incompetence. She has been gagged by the State Secrets Privilege in her efforts to go to court on these issues, including a rejection recently by the Supreme Court of the United States to hear her case without comment. She is now founder of the National Security Whistleblowers Coalition (NSWBC) that is looking to lobby congress and help other whistleblowers with legal and other forms of assistance.|
|2003||Sgt. Frank “Greg” Ford||U.S. Army||Sgt. Frank “Greg” Ford is a retired counterintelligence agent with over 30 years of military service. He was stationed in Samarra, Iraq in June 2003 with the California National Guard’s 223rd Military Intelligence (M.I.) Battalion. After reporting to superiors systematic abuse of Iraqi detainees at Samarra, Sgt. Ford was judged mentally unstable by an Army psychiatrist and renditioned to Landstuhl, Germany to receive further psychological evaluation. In all following psychiatric assessments, Ford was determined to be of sound mind. In later interviews and press appearances, Ford also alleges he witnessed the diversion of U.S.-made weapons of mass destruction from Iraq to Syria and suggests these munitions were deployed by the Syrian military against rebels and civilians during the Syrian civil war.|
|2003||Courtland Kelley||General Motors||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||United Kingdom GCHQ||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||Robert MacLean||United States Transportation Security Administration||U.S. Federal Air Marshal who exposed the TSA's agency-wide plan to remove Federal Air Marshals from nonstop, long distance flights for two months in order to avoid expenditures associated with air marshals lodging in hotels overnight. The plan was formulated in response to a budget shortfall due to overspending. The plan was formulated three days after the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued an Advisory that warned the airline industry and law enforcement of a suicide hijacking plot in which terrorists would exploit U.S. immigration and airport security loopholes. After outrage from U.S. Senators Hillary Clinton, Charles Schumer, Barbara Boxer, and Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, TSA's plan was rescinded before becoming operational. MacLean was fired after DHS discovered he disclosed the plan. On January 27, 2014, the Obama administration appealed MacLean's federal appeals court win to the Supreme Court of the United States. The Court accepted DHS' appeal for review and affirmed the Federal Circuit's decision in MacLean's favor 7-2. The decision was written by Chief Justice of the United States John Roberts.|
|2003||Joseph Wilson||United States Government||Former U.S. ambassador, whose editorial in The New York Times, "What I Didn't Find in Africa", showed reasons for the 2003 invasion of Iraq.|
|2003||Richard Convertino||United States Department of Justice||Former federal prosecutor who obtained the first conviction of a defendant in a terrorism case post-9/11. After Convertino testified before the U.S. Senate Finance Committee in September 2003 about the lack of Bush Administration support of anti-terrorism prosecutions post-9/11, Convertino alleges the Justice Department leaked information and violated a court order to publicly smear him in retaliation for his whistleblowing. Additionally, the Justice Department indicted Convertino for obstruction of justice and lying, which Convertino alleges is further whistleblower retaliation.|
|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 Whistleblower Act in India.|
|2004||Joe Darby||United States Army||First alerted the U.S. military command of prisoner abuse in the Abu Ghraib prison, in Abu Ghraib, Iraq.|
|2004||Neil Patrick Carrick||Greater Grace World Outreach||A former member and staff member of Greater Grace World Outreach in Baltimore, Maryland U.S.A. who uncovered financial and sexual abuse by church leaders. Eventually The Baltimore Sun would publish a front page story uncovering a $500,000 payoff regarding a cover up of an affair of a staff Pastor.|
|2004||Hans-Peter Martin||European Parliament||Accused Parliament members of invalid expense claims.|
|2004||Craig Murray||United Kingdom Foreign and Commonwealth Office||British Ambassador to Uzbekistan who 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 W. Brown||Nuclear power industry||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||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||Former vice president at Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, Rost reported about accounting irregularities and other irregularities to the his management. He was then transferred from Sweden to a position in New Jersey, a change that he characterized as a retalitory demotion. He sued Wyeth, and the case was settled out of court on undisclosed terms. He moved to Pharmacia, where he became concerned about off-market labeling of Genotropin. He reported this activity to his managers at Pfizer after Pfizer's purchase of Pharmacia, and later filed a False Claims suit against the company. The Department of Justice declined to join the suit as Pfizer had already disclosed the violations. While a highly paid executive at Pfizer, Rost publicly took positions opposed to those of Pfizer such as advocating drug reimportation and writing a glowing review of a book highly critical of the industry. He was exiled internally by Pfizer and removed from all responsibilities and decision making, a move which Rost says was due to his whistleblowing. In 2004, he testified in Congress as a private individual in favour of drug reimportation, 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||Sandra Cam||Philippines Jueteng (illegal numbers game) whistleblower||
Sandra Martinez Cam, who is a native of Batuan, Masbate, Philippines rose to fame after exposing several scams involving public officials and agencies in the Philippine government. Among these are the "jueteng" (illegal numbers game) scandal, the presence of illegal drugs and high-powered firearms at the Bureau of Corrections, and the escape of the Reyes brothers via the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA). An advocate of women's rights, she also uncovered the sex for flight scandal which victimized several female Overseas Filipino Workers in the Middle East. More recently, the fearless Masbatena said she has obtained information that would shed light on the infamous "tanim-bala" (planting of bullets) scheme at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), which has been going on since 2012.
|2005||Richard Levernier||United States Department of Energy||
Richard Levernier is an American nuclear power whistleblower. Levernier worked for 23 years as a nuclear security professional, and identified security problems at U.S. nuclear facilities as part of his job. Specifically, after 9/11, he identified problems with contingency planning to protect US nuclear plants from terrorist attacks. He said that the assumption that attackers would both enter and exit from facilities was not valid, since suicide terrorists would not need to exit. In response to this complaint, the U.S. Department of Energy withdrew Levernier's security clearance and he was assigned to clerical work. Levernier approached the United States Office of Special Counsel (OSC), which handles US federal whistleblower matters. It took the OSC four years to vindicate Levernier, ruling that the Department's retaliation was illegal – but the OSC could not reinstate Levernier's security clearance, so he was unable to regain work in nuclear security.
|2005||Toni Hoffman||Queensland Health, Australia||Toni Hoffman is 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||United States 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 (which continues into the Obama administration). He had earlier been known for reporting suspicions that a DIA colleague of his might be a Chinese spy.|
|2005||Maria do Rosàrio Veiga||World Meteorological Organization||Enquired about a fraud, wrote a final report in 2005. Chief IAIS 2002/nov2006, terminated by the WMO.|
|2005–2011||Thomas Andrews Drake||National Security Agency||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" H. Greenhouse||Halliburton||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.|
|2005–2009||Brad Birkenfeld||UBS||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||Thomas Tamm||United States Department of Justice||Attorney for the DOJ's Office of Intelligence Policy and Review who initially informed The New York Times for the story that became a 2005 exposé on mass warrantless surveillance. His home was raided in 2007 during FBI investigation of the leaks and he began to openly speak out publicly in 2008.|
|2005||Shawn Carpenter||Sandia National Laboratories||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 S. Piltz||National Aeronautics and Space Administration||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||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 J. Aguirre||United States Securities and Exchange Commission||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||Rosemary Johann-Liang||U.S. FDA||In 2006, Rosemary Johann-Liang, deputy director of the Division of Drug Risk Evaluation, in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, recommended that the product label for the diabetes drug Avandia include a strong warning that the use of the drug could result in congestive heart failure. She was reprimanded by FDA managers, who transferred the Avandia safety review work to her supervisor. Johann-Liang was vindicated in May 2007, when the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine aired similar concerns about problems with Avandia, and the FDA finally requested a "Black Box" warning label for the product. Johann-Liang ended up resigning from the FDA.|
|2006||Michael DeKort||United States Department of Homeland Security – United States Coast Guard||Michael DeKort was an American systems engineer and project manager at Lockheed Martin who posted a whistleblowing video on YouTube.com about the Lockheed Integrated Deepwater System Program. In 2008, DeKort was awarded the Society on Social Implications of Technology's public service award. As well as the Barus Ethics Award from the IEEE for his efforts to ensure accountability and whistleblowing video.|
|2006||Walter DeNino||Student and lab technician who questioned Eric Poehlman's integrity.|
|2006||Marco Pautasso||World Intellectual Property Organization||WIPO Senior Auditor blew the whistle on fraud and attempted fraud committed by WIPO Director-General Kamil Idris in November 2006[not in citation given]. Worked at WIPO from 2003 to 11/2006; now consultant.|
|2006||Mark Klein||AT&T, National Security Agency||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||United States Environmental Protection Agency||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 The New York Times in 2006 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||Michael G. Winston||Countrywide||former executive at the Countrywide Financial Corporation.|
|2006–07||Richard M. Bowen III||Citigroup||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 November 3, 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 B. Resnick||Omnicare||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||Justin Hopson||New Jersey State Police||During his first few days as a rookie New Jersey State Trooper, Hopson witnessed an unlawful arrest and false report made by his training officer. When he refused to testify in support of the illegal arrest, he was subjected to hazing and harassment by his fellow troopers. He uncovered evidence of a secret society within the State Police known as the Lords of Discipline, whose mission it was to keep fellow troopers in line. Trooper Hopson blew the whistle on the Lords of Discipline, which sparked the largest internal investigation in State Police history. Hopson filed a federal lawsuit alleging that after he refused to support the arrest, Hopson was physically assaulted, received threatening notes, and his car was vandalized while on duty. In 2007, the State of New Jersey agreed to a $400,000 settlement with Hopson. Justin Hopson and his book were featured on ABC News 20/20 "Confessions of a Cop" in 2012 and "Crossing the Line" in 2014.|
|2007–2009||Sergei Magnitsky||Russian accountant and auditor||Sergei Leonidovich Magnitsky (Russian: Серге́й Леонидович Магнитский; April 8, 1972 – November 16, 2009) was 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||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 the Intelligence 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.|
|2007||Anthony D'Armiento||U.S. Coast Guard||Disclosed to a fellow whistleblower unclassfied information which showed deficiencies in the U.S. Coast Guard Integrated Deepwater System program and that contractors were failing to meet contractual requirements with apparent U.S. Coast Guard complicity. Was placed on administrative leave, threatened with criminal prosecution, subjected to a retaliatory investigation by Coast Guard Investigative Service, ordered to "cooperate" and had a weapon pulled on him in the office of the Department of Homeland Security Inspector General.|
|2008||Anat Kamm||Israeli Defense Force||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||Rudolf Elmer||Julius Bär||A long-term employee of the Swiss bank whose final position entailed overseeing its Caribbean operations until he was terminated in 2002, Elmer blew the whistle on Julius Bär in 2008 when he gave secret documents to WikiLeaks. The documents detailed Julius Bär's activities in the Cayman Islands and alleged tax evasion. Convicted in Switzerland in January 2011, he was rearrested immediately for having distributed illegally obtained data to WikiLeaks. Julius Bär alleges that Elmer has doctored evidence to suggest the tax evasion.|
|2008–2012||Robert J. McCarthy||United States Government||Robert J. McCarthy 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 U.S.- 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||Hervé Falciani||HSBC's Swiss subsidiary HSBC Private Bank||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|
|2009||Wendell Potter||CIGNA||Former head of corporate communications at CIGNA, one of the nation's largest health insurance companies. He testified against the HMO industry in the US Senate as a whistleblower.|
|Cathy Harris||United States Customs Service||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 occurs daily to federal employees especially female federal employees at U.S. Customs and other federal agencies.|
|2009||Ramin Pourandarjani||Iranian Government||An Iranian physician who reported on the state use of torture on political prisoners. He died of poisoning shortly thereafter.|
|2009||John Kopchinski||Pfizer||Former Pfizer sales representative and West Point graduate whose whistleblower ("qui tam") 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.|
Robert Evan Dawitt,
|Eli Lilly||Nine sales representatives for Eli Lilly filed separate qui tam 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 pleaded 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||Alexander Barankov||Belarus Ministry of Internal Affairs||Claimed corruption among Belarusian police; charged with bribery and fraud in 2009; became a political refugee in Ecuador in 2010; as of August 2012[update], faces extradition back to Belarus.|
|2009||Linda Almonte||JP Morgan Chase||Filed suit under the Dodd Frank Act whistleblower program regarding alleged corrupt practices including robosigning at JP Morgan.|
|2010||Andrew Maguire (whistleblower)||Andrew Maguire is a British commodities trader and whistleblower. He presented evidence to United States regulators alleging that fraud had been committed, and that prices in the international gold and silver markets had been manipulated. On March 29, 2010, he was interviewed on the radio with Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee (GATA) board member Adrian Douglas. He went public in April 2010 with assertions of market manipulation by JPMorgan Chase and HSBC of the gold and silver markets, prompting a number of lawsuits, including a class action lawsuit.|
|2010||Chelsea Manning||United States 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 Baghdad airstrike and the 2009 Granai airstrike in Afghanistan; 250,000 United States diplomatic cables; 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 offenses and sentenced to 35 years in prison.|
|2002–2010||Cheryl D. 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 qui-tam 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||Michael Woodford||Olympus Corporation||Corporate president, revealed past losses concealed and written off via excessive fee payments|
|2011||Clare Rewcastle Brown||Sarawak Report||Operated and founded the radio network Radio Free Sarawak and whistleblowing site Sarawak Report. Before February 2011, Sarawak Report and Radio Free Sarawak operated anonymously. However, Rewcastle Brown and Radio Free Sarawak's DJ is Peter John Jaban decided to go public after one of her informants, a former Taib aide, was found dead. Ross Boyert, who used to head Taib's supposed real estate arm in the United States, was found dead in a Los Angeles hotel room with a plastic bag around his head in September 2011. Boyert had claimed that he and his family had been harassed since he filed a lawsuit against the real estate company in 2007. Sarawak Report later revealed a barrage of exposés including the April 2011 Sarawak election's fraud, FBC Media's scandal, Musa Aman timber corruption, Red Granite Pictures' controversy and with her latest being the 1Malaysia Development Berhad scandal.|
|2011||M. N. Vijayakumar||Indian Administrative Service||Exposed serious corrupt practices at high levels.|
|2011||Blake Percival||USIS||Percival filed a Qui Tam Whistleblower claim under seal in 7/2011 alleging that USIS had defrauded the U.S. Government by submitting unfinished background investigations to the government for payment. USIS has been under scrutiny since it was revealed that they had performed the background investigation of Edward Snowden and Aaron Alexis.|
|2011||Everett Stern||HSBC||AML 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||Ted Siska||Ward Diesel Filter Systems, Inc. of New York||Ward Diesel Filter Systems Inc. has agreed to pay the United States $628,000 to resolve allegations that it knowingly submitted false claims to federal agencies under a contract to provide diesel exhaust filtering systems for fire engines through the General Services Administration's (GSA) Multiple Award Schedule program, the Justice Department announced on June 26, 2012. The government's investigation was initiated by a lawsuit, U.S. ex rel. Siska v. Ward Diesel Filter Systems, Inc., filed under the False Claims Act's qui tam provisions, which permit private parties to sue for false claims on behalf of the United States and to share in any recovery. The whistleblower, Ted Siska, will receive $94,200 of the settlement.|
|2012||Vijay Pandhare||Chief Engineer, Irrigation Department, Government of Maharashtra||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 MinisterAjit Pawar.|
|2012||Joshua Wilson||Captain, United States Air Force||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||Carmen Segarra 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||PricewaterhouseCoopers||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 P. 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 People's Liberation Army compromised information technology at 160 U.S. corporations and government agencies.|
|2013||Edward Snowden||National Security Agency||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.|
|2013||Laurence do Rego||Executive Director in Charge of Risk and Finance Ecobank Transnational||In a letter to the Nigerian Securities and Exchange Commission highlighted 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.|
|2013||John Crane||Office of the Inspector General, U.S. Department of Defense||Crane built up the DoD IG office over his 25 years there to become the "gold standard" within the government but had his career destroyed for his support of government whistleblowers. Edward Snowden went public rather than reporting within the system due to severe reprisal against earlier NSA whistleblowers.|
|2014||Ben Strickland||U.S. Coast Guard||Commander (CDR) Ben Strickland, alleged multiple acts of retaliation in violation of the Military Whistleblower Protection Act by Coast Guard Investigative Service (CGIS) and senior Coast Guard Officials after he reported a sexual assault onboard USCGC Munro in May 2013. The Coast Guard denied retaliation on their part and claimed he was not eligible for whistleblower protection. CDR Strickland alleged that he became an unlawful target of the very investigations which stemmed from his report of a sexual assault and filed a formal complaint which was accepted for investigation by the Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General and pends administrative review by the Board for Correction of Military Records.|
|2014||John Tye||U.S. State Department||Former State Department official John Tye released an editorial in The Washington Post in July 2014, highlighting concerns over data collection under Executive Order 12333. While Tye's concerns are rooted in classified material he had access to through the State Department, he has not publicly released any classified materials.|
|2013–present||J. Kirk McGill||United States Department of Defense – Defense Contract Audit Agency||DCAA 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, 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 the Office of the Inspector General, United States Department of Defense and DCAA's Internal Review Directorate (later the DCAA Inspector General). 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 Congress. On December 11, 2015, NEON was fired from the multibillion-dollar project. McGill's primary disclosure was published online on January 5, 2015. McGill's allegations of retaliation remain under investigation by the United States Office of Special Counsel.|
|2015||John Bitterman||U.S. Coast Guard||Commander (CDR) John Bitterman, self-identified as a whistleblower and alleged retaliation in violation Military Whistleblower Protection Act by Coast Guard Pacific Area officials after he complained about poor material conditions onboard his 47-year-old cutter and requested additional funding shortly after taking command. The Coast Guard stated they had conducted an investigation and decided to relieve CDR Bitterman for "loss of confidence", but refused to release details regarding the investigation claiming as a reason it was administrative in nature. CDR Bitterman has vowed to fight the relief including filing a complaint with the Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General for investigation.|
|2016||Paul Stevenson||PsyCare||Australian Paul Stevenson worked as a clinical psychologist at the Manus Regional Processing Centre and the Nauru Detention Centre, providing support to both staff and detainees. In June 2016, he publicly maintained that the levels of psychological trauma at these Centres are the worst he has ever seen and that Australia has an ethical responsibility to ensure these Centres are closed down. As a result of speaking out, Stevenson had his contract to work on Nauru summarily terminated by PsyCare.|
|2016||Edgar Matobato||Davao Death Squad||Edgar Matobato (born Edgar Matobato y Bernal) is a self-confessed professional hitman and serial killer who claims to be a former member of the Davao Death Squad or the "DDS", an alleged vigilante group organized by former Davao City Mayor now Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte tasked to summarily execute suspected criminals.
He appeared before the Philippine Senate on September 15, 2016 during a hearing on extra-judicial killings. At the hearing, Matobato recounted his experiences as a killer and narrated how he killed his victims. He revealed that Duterte once killed a certain Hamizola using an Uzi, emptying the gun on the victim. On October 7, 2016, Edgar Matobato was turned over by Senator Antonio Trillanes to the Philippine National Police after an arrest warrant was issued to him.
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- Off-label use
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