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Whistle Blower

BUSINESS
September 16, 2013 | By David Lazarus
Arlene wants to know about the California state auditor. Specifically, who audits them ? I had no idea, so I went right to the top: State Auditor Elaine Howle. She told me her office focuses primarily on making sure that public-sector finances and operations are on the up and up. It also runs the state's whistle-blower hotline , which allows state workers and others to report instances of fraud or waste. Howle said all such calls are confidential. As to Arlene's question, the state auditor's office is overseen by the Joint Legislative Audit Committee, along with a handful of independent auditors.
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NEWS
June 10, 2013 | By Jon Healey
Anyone who exposes truly sensitive government secrets can be reasonably certain to have his or her identity revealed eventually (see, e.g., Daniel Ellsberg or Bradley Manning). So it made a certain amount of sense for Edward J. Snowden to announce over the weekend that he was the one who blew the whistle on the National Security Agency's classified and extraordinarily broad surveillance program. I mean, why spend sleepless nights worrying about being discovered when it's just a matter of time?
BUSINESS
March 5, 2013 | By Jim Puzzanghera
WASHINGTON -- The federal government's automatic budget cuts mean there will be less financial incentive to turn in tax cheats. In a notice on its website, the Internal Revenue Service said it would pay 8.7% less to informants who blow the whistle on tax-dodging individuals or corporations. The payments are being reduced because of the spending reductions required by the across-the-board cuts known as sequestration that kicked in Friday, the IRS said. QUIZ: How much do you know about the federal budget cuts?
BUSINESS
September 12, 2012 | By Walter Hamilton and Stuart Pfeifer, Los Angeles Times
Help wealthy people dodge taxes. Go to prison. And cap it off by getting $104 million for ratting out your former clients to the IRS. In one of the largest whistle-blower cases in U.S. history, the federal government is paying that amount to a globe-trotting banker who once smuggled a client's diamonds in a toothpaste tube to avoid detection by tax authorities. The financier, Bradley Birkenfeld, later confessed his transgressions and helped the Internal Revenue Service nab thousands of Americans who had stashed money overseas to avoid paying taxes.
BUSINESS
March 4, 2014 | By David G. Savage
WASHINGTON - Outside accountants and lawyers who reveal fraud and wrongdoing at publicly traded companies are protected as whistle-blowers just as employees are, the Supreme Court ruled, expanding the reach of an anti-fraud law passed in the wake of the collapse of companies such as Enron Corp. and WorldCom Inc. The 6-3 decision Tuesday will affect the mutual fund and financial services industries in particular because they rely heavily on outside contractors and advisors. Denying whistle-blower protection to all outside employees of such companies would leave a "huge hole" in the 2002 law, said Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, noting that most mutual fund companies hire independent investment advisors and contractors rather than employees.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 18, 2012 | By Rong-Gong Lin II and Paul Pringle, Los Angeles Times
A fugitiveĀ in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum corruption case says that for years he alerted his superiors to alleged criminal wrongdoing at the stadium, but they did nothing. In telephone and Skype interviews with The Times, former Coliseum contractor Tony Estrada, who has been charged with embezzlement and conspiracy, said a culture of self-dealing and fraud thrived at the taxpayer-owned stadium for more than a decade. "I did the right thing," Estrada said in one Skype session, speaking in the accent of his native Cuba.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 4, 2012 | By Jeff Gottlieb, Los Angeles Times
A Bell police sergeant who said he was forced into retirement in retaliation for reporting corruption in the city has received $400,000 and been reinstated to the force. The size of the settlement of James Corcoran's whistle-blower lawsuit is far less than what he might have received at trial, experts agreed. Retired U.S. District Judge Dickran Tevrizian, who served as mediator, said Bell could have lost more than $3 million if the case had gone to trial, according to a memo that City Atty.
NATIONAL
May 20, 2013 | By Richard A. Serrano, Los Angeles Times
WASHINGTON - The former top federal prosecutor in Arizona retaliated against the lead whistle-blower in the Fast and Furious gun-smuggling scandal by leaking an internal report that suggested the whistle-blower once favored allowing illegal gun sales as a way to track weapons to drug cartels in Mexico, the Justice Department's inspector general's office said Monday. Dennis K. Burke, who resigned from the U.S. attorney's office following the Fast and Furious matter, told investigators that he leaked an internal memorandum to a television producer in which ATF Special Agent John Dodson discussed an earlier case involving gun trafficking on the border.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 11, 2011 | By Jessica Garrison and Abby Sewell, Los Angeles Times
Dismayed by one City Council member's repeated whistle-blowing about the embattled city, Montebello City Council members are slated Wednesday to discuss rules on how council members communicate and use city letterhead. The move comes after some city officials expressed outrage that Councilwoman Christina Cortez used city letterhead to ask the Los Angeles County district attorney and the state controller to investigate the city. One rule would call for council members to provide for the printed agenda "a brief general description" of what they plan to discuss during public comments, "expressed in complete sentences.
BUSINESS
May 20, 2011 | By Marc Lifsher, Los Angeles Times
Quest Diagnostics Inc., the biggest provider of medical lab services in California, has agreed to pay $241 million to settle a whistle-blower's lawsuit that accused it of overcharging the state Medi-Cal program. The lawsuit also alleged that the Madison, N.J., company paid illegal kickbacks to doctors, hospitals and clinics that sent patients their way. The settlement was the largest in the history of California's False Claims Act, which allows private citizens to sue on behalf of the state if they have evidence that a government contractor has defrauded a state agency.
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