(Washington, DC) On Monday, Jan. 27, the Government Accountability Project (GAP) returns to Auburn University to present its acclaimed program, the American Whistleblower Tour: Essential Voices for Accountability. The stop will feature prominent financial industry whistleblower Eric Ben-Artzi, who exposed Deutsche Bank’s multi-billion dollar securities violations.
GAP’s Tour is a dynamic campaign aimed at educating the public particularly university students about the phenomenon and practice of whistleblowing. This event will feature a moderated discussion and is free to all. A full description of the Tour can be found at www.WhistleblowerTour.org.
This Tour stop is sponsored by GAP and Auburn’s Raymond J. Harbert College of Business School of Accountancy. The program will last from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in Lowder Hall, Room 113-A.
In December 2012, Eric Ben-Artzi chose to come forward publicly with evidence of multi-billion dollar securities violations at Deutsche Bank, the Germany-based global financial services company. Ben-Artzi, who holds a Ph.D. in Mathematics from NYU’s Courant Institute, joined Deutsche Bank in 2010 as a quantitative risk analyst in the company’s Market Risk Management department after working as a risk analyst for other financial institutions, including Goldman Sachs. While working at Deutsche Bank, he discovered and internally reported violations stemming from the Bank’s failure to accurately report the value of its credit derivatives portfolio. When he pressed his concerns further that the bank was inflating the value and concealing the risk of some of its trades, he was retaliated against in multiple ways, and eventually fired. Ben-Artzi’s story led to a series of front-page investigative pieces by the Financial Times. Reports have shown that the Bank hid up to $12 billion in losses and that German regulators were briefed years ago about the problematic fraudulent activities but did nothing while the SEC investigated. Independent experts in economics have also backed Ben-Artzi’s allegations. Ben-Artzi is believed to be one of the first whistleblowers to make his concerns public while engaged in the SEC whistleblower process under the new Dodd-Frank regulations. More on his case is available here.
In 2012, GAP brought prominent whistleblowers Sherron Watkins (Enron scandal) and Kenneth Kendrick (peanut butter/Salmonella scandal) to the Auburn campus, to rave reviews. The Tour returned to Auburn in January 2013, featuring whistleblowers Jon Oberg (student loans) and Frank Casey (Bernie Madoff scandal) in that stop. GAP Senior Fellow and American Whistleblower Tour Director Dana Gold, who moderated both events, returns to moderate this year’s panel.
“We are excited to bring our whistleblower tour to Auburn University for the third year in a row,” stated Gold. “The student and faculty feedback continues to amaze us, showing that the Auburn community truly recognizes the importance of society’s truth-tellers and the ethical responsibilities of its future graduates.”
Dr. Sarah Stanwick, Associate Professor in the School of Accountancy, stated: “The Whistleblower Tour has become an event that faculty and students equally look forward to attending. Hearing from individuals who display integrity allows our students to realize that making the decision to stand up for what is right is the only way to ensure their beliefs match their actions.”
About the Tour
This stop at Auburn is the fourth of several to be held this academic year. Previous 2013-14 stops have included Florida International University, American University and West Virginia University. After Auburn, the Tour will visit Princeton, University of Southern California, Syracuse, Stanford, and Temple.
During the 2012-13 academic year, the American Whistleblower Tour visited 11 colleges, including Indiana University, Portland State University, James Madison University, Franklin & Marshall College, American University, and University of Houston-Clear Lake. GAP secures some of the most prominent whistleblowers in American history for its Tour. Previous whistleblower presenters have included Daniel Ellsberg (Pentagon Papers), Frank Serpico (NYPD), and Thomas Drake (NSA).
Goals of the Tour include raising awareness about the vital role whistleblowing has in our democracy, preparing America’s youth for ethical decision-making, countering negative connotations associated with whistleblowing, connecting prospective whistleblowers to available resources, and encouraging academic studies of whistleblowing.
Contact: Dylan Blaylock, GAP Communications Director
Phone: 202.457.0034, ext. 137
Contact: Dr. Sarah Stanwick, Associate Professor, Auburn University
Government Accountability Project
The Government Accountability Project is the nation’s leading whistleblower protection organization. Through litigating whistleblower cases, publicizing concerns and developing legal reforms, GAP’s mission is to protect the public interest by promoting government and corporate accountability. Founded in 1977, GAP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C.