Madoff whistleblower Harry Markopolos’ book, They Wouldn’t Listen, describes his experience of trying to get the SEC to see a multi-billion dollar Ponzi scheme growing by leaps and bounds each year right before their eyes. Three years ago, my business partner, Mark Tidwell, and I “blew the whistle” on the Stanford Financial Group’s (Stanford’s) multi-billion dollar Ponzi scheme growing by leaps and bounds each year right before the SEC’s eyes. “They” DID listen to us, and used our evidence and testimony to support a civil lawsuit against Stanford and take a global network of companies into receivership on February 17, 2009.
Unfortunately, Mark Tidwell and I have had a very one-sided relationship with the SEC, and the Commission’s failed promise of protection in return for cooperation and assistance in their case sends a message to the entire financial industry that being an SEC whistleblower is a dangerous and absurdly misguided endeavor.
Given the record of failure by the SEC and FINRA to adequately regulate the financial sector, it is critically important that whistleblowers be protected and compensated for delivering crucial information to authorities to help stop predatory and criminal enterprises like Stanford. Law-abiding citizens like Mark and I should be able to trust and depend on the SEC’s assurances of protection. Instead, we have become the perfect examples of why NOT to blow the whistle.
Mark and I were promised protection when we risked our careers, our reputations and even our families’ security to blow the whistle on Stanford. The SEC’s promises have been broken in a very blatant manner and I firmly believe that when our story becomes public, it will be counter-productive to the admirable efforts of our nation’s leaders like you who encourage citizens to do the right thing and come forward to report fraudulent conduct in corporate America.
I am writing you because of your long-term advocacy for whistleblowers and I am confident you will be appalled to learn some of the shocking details of my experience as a Stanford whistleblower. As the SEC is in the rule-making process for its recently expanded whistleblower program, I feel it is very important Congress truly understands the Commission’s CURRENT treatment of whistleblowers so that appropriate legislative support is in place to force the SEC to comply with some very critical provisions to protect whistleblowers.
Stanford: What’s the hold up? http://sivg.org/article/SEC_Whistleblowers.html