Hillary Clinton pledges bigger rewards for corporate whistleblowers

Reuters News
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Posted: Jul 20, 2015 4:13 PM

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton would increase the incentives for corporate whistleblowers to come forward to report financial misconduct, she said on Monday.

Answering questions from voters in an online chat, Clinton, the Democratic frontrunner, said she would increase the maximum amount of money a whistleblower can be rewarded so such incentives "are actually effective."

Whistleblowers who expose wrongdoing under the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act cannot be rewarded more than $1.6 million, an amount Clinton should be "sharply increased," her campaign staff said soon after in an email to reporters.

"While this represents a large sum in real dollars, it pales in comparison to pay levels within the financial sector," the campaign's statement said, and so the cap was not a big enough incentive for finance workers to risk lucrative careers by reporting wrongdoing.

Whistleblowers in sectors governed by other laws can potentially receive much larger rewards, measured as a percentage of a settlement or an amount recovered, and Clinton said this disparity needs to be resolved.

Clinton also said fines for companies caught engaging in financial misconduct should "cut into" the bonuses of the executives responsible, but did not provide details as to how this would work.

(Reporting by Jonathan Allen; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli)