According to an article in today’s Washington Post, the whistleblower who alerted the Government to Swiss banking giant UBS’s conspiracy to assist American businesses in illegal tax avoidance may get a prison term as his reward. Bradley Birkenfield reported the fraud to authorities (after allegedly participating in it) — including bizarre tales of smuggling diamonds in toothpaste tubes. His disclosures directly resulted in a voluntary settlement payment from UBS to the United States of $780 million. The Post comments: “The U.S. government would send potential whistleblowers precisely the wrong message if it sends Birkenfeld to prison, ‘killing the goose that laid the golden egg,'” according to one expert.
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