Faire Sans Dire has assisted whistleblowers in the past if their cause was just so please do not hesitate to contact us for help in reporting the facts if you are ever in a difficult position as was the case for Bradley Birkenfeld. Our help to whistleblowers has been available usually on a pro bono or alternative fee arrangement basis for many years.

Please do not assume we have just entered this market just because the size of some of the recent awards being made to whistleblowers have reached stratospheric if not ludicrous levels.

At the time of writing this article Bradley Birkenfeld is currently finishing a 40 month sentence in home confinement in the USA. He was formerly a UBS AG banker. He was awarded US$104 million for informing on tax evasion to the US authorities; more detailed accounts of what happened are becoming available in the media (eg in a report by The Wall Street Journal).

Since Mr Birkenfeld’s whistle blowing was self-incriminating he was sentenced to 40 months in prison but that did not deter the IRS from making this somewhat large payment no doubt “pour encourager les autres” as Voltaire wrote about the British Admiral Byng’s execution in 1757.

With payments like this becoming more common maybe tax evasion will become “a thing of the past” just as executions of British admirals did after Admiral Byng’s demise or have we got this metaphor muddled up and it’s these arguably excessive pay outs that will cease.

This article was first published on 12th September 2012.

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