Supporting People who Speak Out

Whistleblower’s Lawyer Proposes EU-US Whistleblower Protection Team

The American lawyer for a whistleblower who alleged Denmark’s largest financial institution, Danske Bank, was behind a 200-billion euro ($228.29 billion) money-laundering scandal, said the European Union and United States should link laws to protect people who report wrongdoing.

Stephen Kohn represents Howard Wilkinson, from the United Kingdon, who headed Danske Bank’s Baltics trading unit from 2007-2014.

Wilkinson said filtering of dirty money went through Danske Bank’s branch in Estonia, a former Soviet Republic.

Authorities in Denmark, Estonia, Britain and the United States are investigating the payments in what has been called the biggest scandal in Europe, with critics pointing out flaws in cross-border coordination between law enforcement agencies.

The U.S. tax code, which covers illegal offshore banking and money laundering, and the Dodd-Frank Act, which covers the financial services industry, publicly traded firms and most banks, are what the European Union should be looking at, Kohn said in a written response to questions from the EU lawmakers ahead of a hearing, said the Reuters news agency.

“These laws have been highly praised by the regulatory agencies responsible for their administration, and have resulted in significant increases in the detection and enforcement of laws prohibiting money laundering, financial crimes and tax evasion,” he said.

Europe must enact effective laws that will encourage employees to report financial crimes to the appropriate authorities at the earliest possible time, he said. “Europe cannot afford another Danske Bank money laundering scandal,” he said.