NEW YORK--(Neil Getnick, one of the nation’s leading anti-fraud lawyers, discussed how whistleblower laws are improving the business environment both nationally and globally in the keynote address he delivered to a whistleblower conference sponsored by the New York City Chapter of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners.)--
“Never before in the history of fraud investigations have whistleblowers played such a paramount role in some of the largest public and private investigations and legal actions.”
Mr. Getnick, the managing partner of Getnick & Getnick LLP, outlined the recent expansion of whistleblower statutes by federal agencies such as the SEC, CFTC and IRS and states such as New York. He explained how the new laws have a global reach and present the opportunity to bring foreign companies engaged in overseas bribery to justice in U.S. courts.
“The internationalization of the SEC and other U.S. whistleblower laws has the potential to level the playing field against overseas bribery,” Mr. Getnick told the audience gathered Friday for the full-day conference at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice. “This is a new era. Beyond reforming companies and industries, we are now aiming to reform whole markets.” He added that his law firm is launching a private, global anti-fraud and corruption unit, focusing on international whistleblower cases.
“At the end of the day, we are trying to achieve an understanding that good conduct is good business,” Mr. Getnick said. “That’s ultimately how we will achieve structural reform – when there is a consensus on the part of the business community that the smartest way to conduct business is to do so ethically. Then we are on to something meaningful. Then you don’t need a whistleblower suit in order to put things back on track. The reality is – we are not there yet. And until we are, we are going to continue pressing these cases.”
The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, with more than 60,000 members, is the world's largest anti-fraud organization and premier provider of anti-fraud training and education. The New York City chapter organized the whistleblower conference under the premise that, “Never before in the history of fraud investigations have whistleblowers played such a paramount role in some of the largest public and private investigations and legal actions.” The event featured a broad range of prominent speakers, including Tony Alexis, the deputy assistant director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and Vincente Martinez, the director of the whistleblower office for the Commodities Futures Trading Commission.
Mr. Getnick’s New York City-based law firm has a dedicated anti-fraud litigation, business integrity and corporate monitoring practice. The firm has an active False Claims Act qui tam, SEC, CFTC, and IRS whistleblower practice and has successfully resolved some of the largest whistleblower cases, including a 2010 $750 million global recovery against a pharmaceutical company resulting in the highest award to a single whistleblower in U.S. history. Mr. Getnick is also recognized for promoting business integrity from inside the business community. His clients have included Fortune 250 companies in the insurance and computer industries; even a Russian mining company. He is the chair of both Taxpayers Against Fraud, the leading national organization promoting whistleblower laws, and the International Association of Independent Private Sector Inspectors General, the organization that wrote the platinum standards for independent monitoring.