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Whistleblowers Receive Little in Government’s Mortgage Settlement
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Whistleblowers are also receiving awards to the tune of millions of dollars from the U.S. government’s landmark mortgage settlement of $25 billion. The historic settlement helps to shift the burden of financial crimes of big business onto the shoulders of taxpayers (due to government intervention, mediation, bailouts, and acquisition) and protects the culprits in the name of saving national economy.

Some whistleblowers who first brought the nefarious mortgage dealings by big business (JPMorgan Chase & Co, Bank of America Corp, Wells Fargo & Co, Citigroup Inc, Ally Financial and others) to the notice of the government have been partially compensated with awards. The compensation hardly fills the void they lost in serving truth, because it’s admitted that those who blew their whistles and caught the mortgage frauds have become outcast in the industry.

As Bibby, one of the leading whistleblowers with three children said, “I think we’re kind of dead in this industry, to say the least.” No mortgage company that cheats people is ready employ whistleblowers, and that leaves known whistleblowers almost without any employer in the U.S. mortgage market.

  
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Most whistleblowers risked their careers to notify and compel the government to act on the wrongdoings of mortgage lenders and refinancers. Bibby and Donnelly, who in 2005 noticed and brought to attention of the government that lenders were charging veterans hidden fees on mortgage refinancing, are among the first to receive settlements in their favor. When they first told the lenders, their concerns were ignored. Later Bibby and Donnelly hired an attorney to sue the lenders under the U.S. False Claims Act.

The U.S. government immediately took action, put the suit under seal (for the ostensible reason of giving the government time to verify matters) and effectively blocked the whistleblowers from opening their mouths or voicing their concerns anywhere for more than five years (while the government was still unconvinced about the claims of the plaintiffs and kept investigating).

One of the whistleblowers, Donnelly, told the media in an interview (after the seal being recently lifted): “For both our families being hushed for such a long time and holding this inside was unbearable … It puts a lot of stress on you.”

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Bibby and Donelly along with their attorneys would receive $11.7 million as part of a $45 million government settlement with JPMorgan Chase & Co made public earlier this week. The whistleblowers say most of the money would go towards attorney fees and taxes.





 

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