The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Lindsey M. Williams (202) 342-1903

Court Denies Review of Birkenfeld Sentence


Today the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida issued a ruling denying UBS whistleblower Bradley Birkenfeld's
motion for reconsideration of his 40-month jail sentence set to begin
Friday, January 8, 2010. The Department of Justice (DOJ) did not
support Mr. Birkenfeld's motion.

Stephen M. Kohn, National
Whistleblowers Center Executive Director and attorney for Mr.
Birkenfeld, issued a statement in response "Putting only the
whistleblower in jail while all the major tax cheats who stole billions
of taxpayer dollars escape without criminal penalties is outrageous and
sends the wrong message."

Dean Zerbe, National Whistleblowers
Center Special Counsel and attorney for Mr. Birkenfeld, stated "With
their failure to revisit the sentencing of the whistleblower Brad
Birkenfeld, the
Department of Justice seems bound and determined to kill the goose that
laid the golden eggs. DOJ's short-sighted actions will make life
easier for tax cheats and require honest working families to shoulder a
greater tax burden. If the administration is actually serious about
going after off-shore tax evasion they need to be encouraging
whistleblowers not throwing them in jail."

Zerbe added "It is incomprehensible that DOJ is seeking 40 months of
jail time for someone who is the most important tax whistleblower in
the history of the country. Meanwhile, the DOJ is running out of wet
noodles when it comes to dealing with individuals who actually evaded
taxes - including those that Brad Birkenfeld blew the whistle on."

The National Whistleblowers Center is urging people to send letters to Attorney General Holder demanding immediate review of Mr. Birkenfeld's case.

Photo of Bradley Birkenfeld (Courtesy of

Since 1988, the NWC and attorneys associated with it have supported whistleblowers in the courts and before Congress and achieved victories for environmental protection, government contract fraud, nuclear safety and government and corporate accountability.