Hagens Berman Blog

Whistleblower News: Cryptocurrency, Alexion, Danske Bank

by HB Whistleblower Legal Team

02/08/2019

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Banking whistleblower's next crusade: a clean cryptocurrency

One of banking’s most wanted whistleblowers, Frenchman Herve Falciani, has picked unlikely new weapons to fight money-laundering and fraud - cryptocurrency and the blockchain technology behind it.

Living in self-imposed exile in Spain, the former HSBC systems engineer whose leaks of client data triggered a series of high-profile tax investigations is working with Spanish academics and fintech experts on a cryptocurrency he thinks regulators could embrace.

He plans to launch an “ethical” crypto-token, called Tabu, making it traceable thanks to a certificate showing its clean record. Tax-dodgers, shady businesses, hackers and criminals often use cryptocurrencies to hide their transactions. read more »

Former Pentagon employee, called ‘America’s best-known whistleblower,’ dies at 92

A. Ernest Fitzgerald, a Pentagon official tasked with analyzing project expenses, was summoned to Capitol Hill in 1968 to discuss a new fleet of Lockheed C-5A transport planes before the Joint Economic Committee.

He had been instructed to play dumb about the cost. He did not.

Under oath, he said the C-5A was $2 billion over budget. In testifying, Fitzgerald later said, he was merely "committing truth."

The revelation about the vast cost overruns made national headlines, stunning members of Congress as well as Fitzgerald's superiors. Back at the Pentagon, he was met with a blunt question from his secretary: "Have you been fired yet?"

Fitzgerald lasted another two years in his position before President Richard Nixon ordered his dismissal. He went on to sue Nixon, an action that resulted in a landmark U.S. Supreme Court case on presidential immunity and helped make him "America's best-known whistleblower" read more »

Alexion reaches $13 million deal in U.S. drug charity kickback probe

Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc, the maker of an expensive blood disorder treatment, has agreed to pay $13 million to resolve a U.S. Department of Justice probe into its financial support of charities that help Medicare patients cover out-of-pocket drug costs.

Boston-based Alexion disclosed the tentative settlement on Wednesday in regulatory filing, becoming the latest company to strike a deal in the industrywide investigation of drugmakers’ support of patient assistance charities. read more »

Danske Bank Faces Charges in France Over Laundering; Shares Fall

Danske Bank A/S said it’s been placed under formal investigation in France over suspected money laundering at its Estonian branch.

The action on Thursday reverses an earlier decision by French authorities and comes just as the bank appeared to be recovering from the biggest dirty-money scandal in its history and possibly Europe’s. A large chunk of $230 billion that flowed through its non-resident portfolio in Tallinn between 2007 and 2015 is considered suspicious in origin. read more »

EU anti-fraud group heads for Estonia, Denmark to learn Danske Bank lessons

In the wake of Danske Bank’s money laundering scandal, an EU committee will visit Estonia and Denmark this week to meet regulators, prosecutors and the bank’s new management to discuss ways to crack down harder on fraud. read more »