Lehman Brothers whistleblowers detail alleged sexual harassment, death threats in new documentary

Two Lehman Brothers whistleblowers revealed in an upcoming documentary they were allegedly sexually harassed and intimidated – and even received death threats – after questioning the company’s suspicious activities, the Daily Mail reported.

Sylvia Vega-Sutfin and Cheryl McNeil worked for BNC Mortgage, a firm owned by Lehman Brothers, the investment bank that collapsed in 2008 and was a catastrophic contributor to the economic crisis that began that same year.

Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy protection in the U.S. on Sept. 15, 2008, when the firm had more than 100,000 creditors and was in more than $600 billion debt. The filing is still the largest in history.

BNC Mortgage was acquired by the investment bank in 1997 and issued risky subprime, high-interest home loans to those who could not maintain a repayment routine.

Both women detailed their horror stories in interviews for BBC Four Storyville’s documentary “Inside Lehman Brothers: The Whistleblowers,” according to the Daily Mail.

Sutfin, a Nevada City, California, resident, recalled becoming wary of the fraudulent activity when she noticed how a document stated that a man working in a Kentucky Fried Chicken was earning $7,000 per month, the outlet reported.

Then, after mistakenly receiving an email about how Lehman Brothers “had to keep the company,” she further questioned the firm’s activity.

Her work situation turned “from bad to worse” when she noticed $30 million in loans had somehow disappeared from her work account.

"How is it possible that $30 million-plus in loans are gone? They wanted to destroy my credibility,” Sutfin said, according to the Daily Mail. “So my credibility would be tarnished in front of another employer.”

When new management came in, "things started changing,” she said.

“They came into our office like the Mafia,” Sutfin continued. “They brought a gentleman in who had no official job title and he would just walk around the office.”


On her last day at the job, the mysterious man pulled her aside.

“He pulled me in and whispered in my ears, ‘I know everything about you, I know where your daughters go to school, I know where they live, I own you,’” she recalled.

When she got home that day, she realized strangers had been inside.

“Things were torn and moved and things were gone and people were letting me know: ‘Hey we've been at your house, it's a devastating way to live.’”

Meanwhile, McNeil explained that as she growing increasingly suspicious of the mishandled paperwork that passed through the firm, things at work started to change. Soon after, a man in the office sat next to her and began to make inappropriate remarks.

“He was talking about African American women and what he'd heard they were like and whether was I like that,” McNeil recalled, “just being very sexual.”

She left the firm shortly thereafter, but believes she was then blacklisted from other firms, including one that rescinded a job offer because the employers allegedly ”changed their mind,” she said.

“I got evicted because I couldn't pay the rent, I lost my car,” she said, according to the Daily Mail. “I couldn't send my son to school, to this day he'll say it doesn't bother him but I know it did because he kind of blames me for not pursuing his career.”


The roughly hour-long documentary was directed by Jennifer Deschamps and airs on Oct. 28 on BBC Four.

FOX Business' Thomas Barrabi and Megan Henney contributed to this report.