Lawyers for UBS whistleblower Bradley Birkenfeld held a press conference today in which they disclosed that the IRS awarded Birkenfeld $104 million in connection with his whistleblowing against UBS, his former employer. UBS turned over an estimated 4,900 tax cheats to the U.S. government as a result of Birkenfeld’s tips and paid the government $780 million to resolve criminal claims against it. In addition, the government recovered $5 billion from its investigation and pulled back the curtain on the secretive operations of Swiss banking.
Birkenfeld’s attorneys hail in part from the National Whistleblowers Center, an organization which takes an active role in promoting the rights of private- and public-sector whistleblowers. A Google news search revealed that almost 300 news articles were generated as a result of NWC’s press conference, supporting the contention that the news media pay attention to advocacy organizations that choose to speak out on issues of public importance.