The Times [of London] Online reported today that a whistleblower provided information to Korean authorities which may lead to the break up of the multi-billion dollar corporate giant Samsung Group. The whistleblower, who works on the “legal team” for the company, alleges that the company had created a $200 million slush fund to be used for paying off government officials, including senior members of the Korean judiciary.
This story highlights the critical function that whistleblowers, and the laws that protect them, play in our society. The price of unchecked corporate fraud, greed, and illegal conduct usually falls upon us, either as consumers, shareholders or taxpayers. How many innocent people lost their shirts when Enron, Worldcom, and GlobalCrossing bit the dust? How much tax money have we spent paying fraudulent Medicare claims or buying $1000 screwdrivers. Whistleblowers keep corporations and governmental agencies honest, and in doing so save us all money.
I have a few big whistleblowing cases going on right now and I am amazed at the things these companies try to get away with. I am very thankful my whistleblowing clients had the courage to come forward and speak out. If you see your employer doing something fraudulent, illegal, unethical, or dangerous to public safety, please don’t remain silent. Whether you discuss your options with an employment attorney first or decide to go it alone — make the choice to be heard. It’s the right thing to do for your country and, in the right circumstances, can be the right thing for yourself financially.