The Obama administration is seeking whistleblowers on Wall Street, urging anyone with information about corporate misconduct to tell the government and proposing changes to make it far more profitable to do so, the Wall Street Journal reports. In speeches yesterday, senior Justice Department officials appealed to witnesses inside companies to come forward with evidence of wrongdoing. Attorney General Eric Holder said at New York University School of Law he wants to boost potential payouts to whistleblowers by changing the law that caps rewards in cases involving banks.
Justice Department official Marshall Miller, speaking to corporate lawyers, warned that prosecutors increasingly are using tools like wiretaps, surveillance and border stops to identify white-collar criminals. He urged firms to cooperate with investigators or face stiff punishment. “A true cooperator—whether a mobster or a company—must forthrightly provide all the available facts and evidence so that the most culpable individuals can be prosecuted,” he said. Leslie Caldwell, head of the Department’s criminal division, urged lawyers for whistleblowers to notify criminal investigators of wrongdoing, rather than just seek monetary penalties through civil suits. The trio of speeches were the most extensive public Justice Department statements on white-collar crime in a year. Holder has been criticized by fellow Democrats for not aggressively pursuing charges against executives whose conduct contributed to the 2008 financial meltdown.