Bank of America whistleblower vindicated
Whistleblowers have been in the news as of late, with several putting themselves in line for massive paydays.
While the incentives are high, the personal toll can be heavy, and not everyone will prevail in winning a huge payout. In the end, it's not about the rewards for some people, who are motivated more by a desire to see corporate crimes put to an end. Eileen Foster may be in that category. She was fired by Bank of America shortly after it absorbed her employer Countrywide, where she had been lobbying her superiors to expand an investigation into fraud by loan officers that included forgery and false declarations of income by loan applicants.
"After a three-year battle, the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Health and Safety Administration last year ordered Bank of America to reinstate her and pay her nearly $1 million in lost wages and expenses. Bank of America, however, is appealing the decision, leaving Foster without the job or money."
Bank of America has appealed the OSHA decisions as it relates to her Sarbanes-Oxley case. While the $1 million may be nice, it pales next to the $31 million that Citigroup executive Sherry Hunt was awarded for her whistleblower efforts. But money was likely not the original motivation for Foster.
She was honored recently at the National Press Club, notes Reuters. In her speech, she said, "Here we are, several years after the onset of the financial crisis, caused in large part by reckless lending and risk-taking in major financial institutions, and still not one executive has been charged or imprisoned."
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