A whistleblower is considered anyone who has insider information about a fraudulent act and decides to come forward to law enforcement about such activities. Anyone can be a whistleblower, and if they decide to pursue the matter legally, they will be acting in the name of the government. The government can then choose to step in and settle the matter if they find it to be a worthy endeavor that can benefit from their direct support.
Stern was a whistleblower involved in the case of HSBC, a British bank that was accused of money laundering activities. Stern assisted in this case by providing essential insider information about the bank’s financial details to law enforcement authorities. This case eventually ended in a $1.9 billion fine in repercussions from HSBC.
While some would consider the discovery and punishment of HSBC a victory in the fight against fraud, Stern himself feels more could have been done. Stern personally believes that those who played a significant role in the fraud should be sentenced to jail time in order to deliver a stronger message to those who continue to perform money laundering schemes.
“The only thing that I wish would have happened, which was out of my control, was that somebody went to jail,”, Stern states in reference to the HSBC case. He added, “I pushed for that. I am still pushing for that, and that’s something that was a failure not on my part. Somebody not going to jail and justice not being fully preserved is the fault of the Justice Department and a number of government officials.”.
While Stern is an enthusiastic supporter in the fight against fraud, he still holds on to his belief that the battle is long from won if we continue at this pace.
At this moment Stern supports anti-fraud movements by being a consultant and even acts as a keynote speaker in order to discuss his thoughts on the future of fraud. Stern’s main topics of discussion during his interviews involved how he decided to become a whistleblower in the HSBC case, how fraud culture has changed, and how media is impacting whistleblower efficiency.
Whistleblowers have become a vital resource in today’s war on fraud. Without the support of insider information, many of the laundering programs would struggle to detect and properly analyze money laundering cases. Many believe the best thing the legal system can do is provide more protection and benefits to those willing to come forward as concerned members of society. Support of whistleblowers in this manner has been proven time and again to be effective by programs run by the IRS and SEC.
Those who are interested in learning more information about cases like this, or who want to keep up-to-date on the latest legal proceedings, check out Jeffrey Newman Law Whistleblower Help Center and blog!