It’s one of the most important protections of our society that those who expose corruption and wrongdoing are shielded from retribution. It is also sadly under the most attack. Far too often after we have benefited from having fraud, lies, or misdeeds exposed, we turn our back on the whistleblower responsible for unearthing it. If we want to keep encouraging those who know about corruption to come forward, than we as a society have to ensure that they will not come under attack by those who benefitted from having their actions hidden. This is starkly exposed in a recent situation in which a JPMorgan Chase broker was punished for exposing the alleged misconduct of his employer.
The JPMorgan Chase Case
It goes without saying that bosses don’t look kindly on their underlings who invite loss of revenue or bad publicity on their company. This extends also to contractors and other “non-employees” who may have detailed information about the business practices of large companies, such as insurance or other financial companies where contractors vastly outnumber employees. In this case, a whistleblower, after allegedly being pressured to sell products that would benefit the company rather than his clients, decided to reveal the extent of the practice to local newspapers and regulators.
As is often the case, his employer retaliated against him by firing him for a trumped up peccadillo, and after he brought the issue up with the Securities and Exchange commission, lodged customer complaints against him in an attempt to discredit him and prevent him from seeking further employment. He was compelled to pursue his claims against Chase in arbitration, and was ruled against.
By making him out as a rogue dealer, his employer carried out a massive retaliation against a whistleblower, something from which they are supposed to be protected by law. It is often difficult to enforce such laws, and to untangle the web of what is legitimate complaints and what is retaliation. Companies often claim that whistleblowers are disgruntled ex-employees, trying to injure the company’s reputation and hide from a fair punishment for their acts.
In this case, however, it seems that reality is on the side of the whistleblower. Despite alleged attempts to silence him, the SEC has ruled that he provided “original information” that may lead to a False Claims act case against JP Morgan Chase. If so, the whistleblower may be receiving a significant award in a qui tam case.
Don’t Be Afraid to Take a Stand
If you believe that you may have information relating to misconduct by an insurance company, healthcare provider, or other organization, speak with a California IRS whistleblower lawyer at the Evans Law Firm by calling (415) 441-8669, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Our practice areas include qui tam and whistleblower case, insurance, healthcare, and annuity fraud, financial elder abuse, and nursing home abuse.