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Whistle Blowers

NEWS
November 14, 2012 | By Alexandra Le Tellier
It's disappointing to see leaders, public figures and CEOs undone by sex scandals. But it becomes a tragedy when these cases are of an abusive nature. And worse yet, when they're kept quiet, leaving the victims even more powerless. The Penn State case, in which Jerry Sandusky abused young boys while Joe Paterno andĀ  administrators worried more about the institution than the victims, was a harsh reminder that we can't blindly trust people, even respected members of our communities.
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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
August 24, 2012 | By Chad Terhune, Los Angeles Times
A multimillion-dollar settlement reached this week over alleged overpayments to a Medicare health plan in Long Beach highlights how vulnerable Medicare is to potential abuse even as changes are underway to shore up the massive government program. Medicare is already hemorrhaging an estimated $60 billion annually to fraud and improper payments, and some experts worry that the problem could worsen as government officials give medical providers and insurers more incentive to exaggerate - deliberately or accidentally - how sick some patients are to boost their profits.
BUSINESS
August 22, 2012 | By Andrew Tangel, Los Angeles Times
NEW YORK - They've called from pay phones. They've had furtive meetings at hotels and even a church. On internal government documents, they go by code names like Mr. X. For the last year, whistle-blowers deep inside corporate America have been dishing dirt on their employers under a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission program that could give them a cut of multimillion-dollar penalties won by financial regulators. A new bounty program has been an intelligence boon to the securities industry regulator, which has struggled to redeem itself after failing to stop Bernard Madoff's epic Ponzi scheme and rein in Wall Street before the 2008 financial crisis.
WORLD
August 10, 2012 | By Barbara Demick, Los Angeles Times
BEIJING - The flamboyant police official who blew the whistle onChina's most sensational murder case by fleeing to a U.S. Consulate appears headed for prosecution himself. Four underlings of the official, Wang Lijun, went on trial Friday on charges of covering up the poisoning in November of a British consultant on behalf of Gu Kailai, the powerful wife of former Chongqing Communist Party chairman Bo Xilai. And during Gu's trial Thursday, the prosecution claimed that Gu had repeatedly discussed with Wang the idea of killing Neil Heywood, and that the two had plotted for Heywood to be slain during what looked like a drug raid, according to a lawyer who attended the closed proceedings.
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
July 19, 2012 | Richard A. Serrano
The ATF's acting director has warned agents they risk "consequences" if they complain to anyone outside their chain of command -- which some Capitol Hill lawmakers interpret as an effort to stifle whistle-blowers. In a video posted July 9, B. Todd Jones warns that agents and other employees should take complaints to their direct supervisors, not voice them outside the bureau. "Choices and consequences means simply that if you make poor choices, that if you don't abide by the rules, that if you don't respect the chain of command ... there will be consequences," said Jones, who was appointed to run the embattled agency after the Fast and Furious gun scandal, which was brought to light by whistle-blowers.
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
July 4, 2012 | By Abby Sewell, Los Angeles Times
An obscure legal doctrine leaves whistle-blowers at the San Onofre nuclear plant with less legal protection than other California workers, including employees at the state's only other nuclear plant. San Onofre is majority owned and operated by Southern California Edison, a private company, but it sits on land leased from the Camp Pendleton Marine Corps base. That puts the plant in a so-called federal enclave, where courts have held that many California laws, including labor laws intended to protect whistle-blowers, do not apply.
SPORTS
June 5, 2012 | By Chris Foster
It's closing time. The Kings know it. The New Jersey Devils know it. The question is, do the Kings take a spin with the Stanley Cup on Wednesday night or at some point in the next week? But coronation day is coming with the Kings up, 3-0, in the Cup Final. "The last one is the hardest," Kings forward Jarret Stoll said. Nothing has seemed too difficult for the Kings so far. The season began in October, but this amazing run started after giving two goals in the last four minutes in a 4-3 loss to the Detroit Red Wings on March 9. The Kings are 24-4-3 since, including a 15-2 record in the playoffs.
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