NJ Whistleblower Sues Local Bank for Wrongful Termination

We recently filed a lawsuit for Mr. Richard Boywitt, a whistleblower who was just doing his job as Bank Secrecy Act Compliance Officer for a local bank when he told his boss that he intended to file a report about a potential money laundering scheme. Instead of thanking Mr. Boywitt for exposing the suspicious activity, the Bank’s President cursed him out and fired him, according to the Complaint in the case of Boywitt v. Brunswick Bancorp d/b/a Brunswick Bank and Trust Company, Docket No. MID-L-3503-08.

According to the Complaint, Mr. Boywitt’s job duties included monitoring customer transactions and filing reports of suspicious banking activity with FinCen, a division of the U.S. Department of Treasury. In early April 2007, Mr. Boywitt learned that a bank customer had repeatedly exchanged thousands of dollars in old $5 bills for new cash. When Mr. Boywitt questioned two tellers about the transactions, they stonewalled him, refused to monitor the customer further, and allegedly lied to him regarding a transaction where $8,000 of the old cash was exchanged.

The Complaint further alleges that Mr. Boywitt, who was obligated by law to report this suspicious activity, notified his boss, Mr. Roman T. Gumina, III, of his intent to file a report with FinCen. Two days later, Mr. Gumina allegedly cursed out Mr. Boywitt and abruptly fired him, saying “you would file (a suspicious activity report) against (Bank) employees? Are you f—–g out of your mind? You’re fired!”

The lawsuit alleges that the Bank fired Mr. Boywitt in retaliation for his protected whistleblowing activity. In my view, the statement by the Bank President is strong “direct evidence” of retaliatory intent. The timing of the termination in relation to the whistleblowing activity is strong “circumstantial evidence” of retaliatory intent.

You can view the full press release on this matter here: http://www.emediawire.com/releases/2008/5/prweb910434.htm.