On the heels of the seventh anniversary of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), Wall Street's bailout for the 2008 financial crisis, a new campaign called Whistleblower Wall Street is encouraging bank employees to take action against illegal financial activity.
The goal of the campaign is to teach bank employees how they can report illegal activity through their website. Through an encrypted process on the website, those with knowledge of wrongdoing can disclose statements and submit documents anonymously. The campaign will also teach whistleblowers about their rights and assist them in finding legal representation.
Under the launch, billboards with the phrase "If You See Something, Do Something" advertising the new campaign will be posted around New York City's Financial District and leaflets will be passed out in front of major banks.
Richard Bowen, a former senior vice president at Citigroup (NYSE:C), is endorsing the campaign. Bowen is known for exposing Citigroup for its role in the mortgage crisis, which exposed the widespread sub-prime mortgage crisis.
Those who whistleblow financial crime or wrong doing can receive large monetary rewards. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced its largest ever award in September 2014 of $30 million to a foreign tipster. Previously, the largest award was $14 million.
The SEC only gives monetary awards to cases that result in SEC enforcement actions with penalties greater than $1 million and when the information given is high quality and original. Awards can range from 10% to 30% of the money collected in a case.
Whistleblow Wall Street is the project of both The Other 98% , a non-profit that aims to "combat economic injustice and outsized corporate influence," and The Rules, a global network of individuals who are "dedicated to changing the rules that create inequality and poverty around the world."