Whistleblower receives US$104mil for exposing UBS fraud
The US authorities rewarded former UBS banker Bradley Birkenfield with a record sum of US$104 million for exposing the bank’s tax fraud.
"This is believed to be the largest reward ever given to an individual whistleblower in the United States and the first major reward issued under the IRS tax whistleblower law," the National Whistleblowers Centre was quoted saying in a report by AFP.
Birkenfeld had provided the US government with "insider information on UBS's illegal offshore banking scheme” and his disclosures led to UBS paying US$780 million fine to the US.
The sum paid by the IRS to Birkenfeld is "the largest whistleblower reward issued to a single individual” said one of his lawyers Stephen Kohn.
Experts say that this unprecedented move will encourage whistleblowers to step up and report any wrongdoing in organisations.