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Whistleblowers: Incentives, Disincentives, and Protection Strategies by Frederick D. Lipman

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Chapter Ten

Other Statutory Incentives and Protections for Whistleblowers

A VARIETY OF FEDERAL and state statutes provide bounties to whistleblowers or protect whistleblowers from retaliation. Many of these statutes are not well known.

ACT TO PREVENT POLLUTION FROM SHIPS

For example, in September 2010, four crew members of the M/V Iorana, a Greek-flagged cargo ship, were awarded $500,000 ($125,000 each) under the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships, which provides that whistleblowers may receive an award of up to one-half of the fine collected under that statute.1 A crew member passed a note to the Customs and Borders Protection inspector upon the ship's arrival in Baltimore alleging that the ship's chief engineer had directed the dumping of waste oil overboard through a bypass hose that circumvented pollution prevention equipment required by law. The whistleblower's note stated: “We are asking help to any authorities concerned about this, because we must protect our environment and our marine lives.” A fine of $1 million was levied against Irika Shipping S.A. for violation of the statute, and the four crew members were entitled to one-half of that amount.

In May 2011, an even larger reward was made under the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships. Three crew members of the Greek tanker vessel M/T Kriton received more than $1 million for cooperating with federal authorities in an investigation that led to the company's conviction for repeatedly dumping waste oil in the ocean and ...

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