067 Bradley Birkenfeld: Whistleblower Still Exposing Corruption and Creating a Better System
About Fun With Annuities Episode #67
July 30th is National Whistleblower Day, so it is with incredible pleasure that we have Bradley Birkenfeld, the most influential financial whistleblower of all time, as #67 celebrity co-host this week. If you haven’t heard of him, by the end of this podcast you will be grateful for everything he has done and for his life’s mission to expose fraud.
As an international private banker, he exposed how UBS, the world’s largest bank, helped ultra-wealthy Americans commit billions in tax fraud. His bombshell revelations cracked the impenetrable fortress of Swiss banks, proving that offshore financial institutions systematically aided clients’ tax evasion, corruption and terrorist activities. His case triggered monumental changes in banking laws, the federal tax code and international tax treaties and resulted in over $25 billion being repatriated back to the US.
In 2005, despite a thriving career with Credit Suisse, Barclays Bank and UBS, Bradley could no longer keep silent about bank-enabled tax fraud. When UBS rejected his concerns, he turned to the U.S. authorities.
Even though he spent 30 months in jail for doing the right thing, he was soon vindicated with a record-breaking IRS reward which is also referred to as a whistleblower reward. In my book, it was a well-deserved whistleblower reward from the IRS and it was $104 million dollars. Read more about it in this New York Times article.
This is a must listen to podcast, because this whistleblower is still whistlin’. Bradley is now retired living on the island of Malta and is a philanthropist and continues to support whistleblowing efforts worldwide. He is a one-of-a-kind guest with a one-of-a-kind life story.
In his own words, “The system that we base ourselves on, what we believe in, is rotten to the core. I say that candidly and I can give facts to that. Support whistleblowers, don’t believe everything the government tells you and we need more transparency in our lives."
Brief Bio on Co-host Bradley Birkenfeld:
Bradley Birkenfeld is the author of Lucifer's Banker UNCENSORED: The Untold Story of How I Destroyed Swiss Bank Secrecy, a behind-the-scenes look at the secret Swiss banking industry and an eye-opening account of a corrupt justice system. It’s an Amazon best-seller and as someone who could not put it down, I can tell you it is a MUST READ. I became more outraged the more I read and I’m grateful to Bradley for exposing the incompetence and corruption at the Department of Justice. The DOJ may have tried to vilify him, but he persevered and now we can celebrate him. You can follow him on Twitter @Lucifers_Banker, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn.
CNBC called him “The most significant financial whistleblower of all times.” If that and his intro above doesn’t give you enough reasons to listen to this episode, you can Google this guy, or check out his Wikipedia page here.
In this episode, The Annuity Man and Bradley Birkenfeld discuss:
- Corruption in the government and our justice system
- The problem with bank secrecy and facts about the relationship between our government and bankers
- Getting incarcerated for doing the right thing
- Tax evasion in wealthy groups and how corruption happens in places
- The future of cryptocurrency and bankers
- If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem - you’re either one of those.
- The system is so ingrained with corruption that it has already become impossible to change anything.
- Don’t stand for corruption when you see it - although it might get you burned even if you’re doing the right thing.
- The empowerment of the individual through cryptocurrency might not last as governments and bankers will find a way to get in the game and devalue the current ones.
Fun With Annuities® Podcast is hosted by America’s Annuity Agent®, Stan Haithcock, The Annuity Man®. Hear brutal annuity facts with no sales pitches from the top independent agent in the country, licensed in all 50 states. Author of 7 books, Stan dives deep on all annuity types and strategies. It’s fun, learning the contractual truths on how annuities actually work and if they’ll fit your personal retirement lifestyle.