Whistleblower & Qui Tam Blog

October 2018

How the Danske Bank Money-Laundering Scheme Was Uncovered by a Whistleblower

Danske Bank Whistleblower Highlighted in WSJ Danske Bank Expose´

Whistleblower Attorney Demands Protection from Denmark and Estonia Government

Washington, D.C. October 23, 2018. A report in today’s Wall Street Journal details how a British trader in Danske Bank’s Estonia office uncovered what some are calling the largest money-laundering scandal in world banking history. The feature article describes British banker Howard Wilkinson’s five-year journey to bring an end to this large-scale corruption.

Mr. Wilkinson confidentially raised concerns over the illegal money-laundering scheme in 2013. In September of 2018, news reports on the $234 billion scandal revealed the existence of a whistleblower but not the identity. Mr. Wilkinson had wished to remain anonymous, but his identity was leaked to an Estonia newspaper.

Mr. Wilkinson is represented by top whistleblower attorneys Kohn, Kohn & Colapinto, LLP (“KKC”), who last month sent demands to law enforcement authorities in Estonia and Denmark take actions to protect Howard Wilkinson from whistleblower retaliation.

“Mr. Wilkinson is an international hero,” said Stephen M. Kohn, who represents Mr. Wilkinson. “He risked his career and livelihood to stop a massive money-laundering operation and to hold banks accountable,” Kohn added.

In the wake of the Wall Street Journal article, Mr. Kohn issued the following statement today:

“Courageous whistleblowers like Howard Wilkinson deserve thanks from the governments of the world that are concerned about fraud and corruption. Estonia and Denmark must clearly and unequivocally demand that Danske Bank to undertake measures to prevent any reprisal against Mr. Wilkinson and must pledge to hold the bank accountable for any harm that may come to Mr. Wilkinson.”

“The time has come for the European Union and its member states to stand behind the whistleblowers who are trying to stop corruption and money laundering. Lip service must end. Real action and strong laws are needed to ensure that every banker in Europe can safely report fraud and corruption to law enforcement, the respective Parliaments and the people.”

“Mr. Wilkinson has agreed to testify before the Danish and European Parliaments. All voters in Europe have a right to know that their governments are doing to stop corruption and protect whistleblowers.”

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Kohn, Kohn & Colapinto’s primary litigation includes representing international whistleblowers under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, tax fraud whistleblowers, qui tam reward laws, the False Claims Act, SEC whistleblowers and IRS whistleblowers. In 2012 the firm obtained the largest whistleblower reward given to a single individual in history ($104 million to UBS whistleblower (Bradley Birkenfeld). Stephen M. Kohn’s eighth book on whistleblower law is the highly respected The New Whistleblower’s Handbook (Lyons Press, 2017).

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About the Whistleblower Blog

The Whistleblower Blog is an editorially independent news and information source, sponsored by a pro bono public service project by Kohn, Kohn & Colapinto, LLP. The blog highlights important news, legal developments and policy issues critical to whistleblowers and their advocates, both in the United States and internationally. The contributors to this blog are respected leaders in their fields, including the authors of key whistleblower law books, current and former legal professors, spokespersons before Congressional committees and other public bodies, directors of non-profit whistleblower advocacy groups, and prominent attorneys specializing in representing/assisting whistleblowers in the United States and throughout Europe, Asia, Africa and South America.

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