Killing Goose that Laid the Golden Egg

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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