The Whistleblower



hunt platform witch-hunt
blow suit (2) crucifixion
arrest engage whistle-blowers
harass whistle sentence (2)
enemy former exaggerate
reveal evasion money laundering
illicit violate confidentiality
hound examine responsible
alarm evidence supervisor
expose arrange commission
guilty recognize downright
witch turn in prosecute
expose cover up appearance
hush confirm investigate
oasis auditor transparent
flee proceed renowned
casket isolated withdraw
calf function golden calf
accuse custody summarize





Rudolf Elmer: “They started a witch hunt against me; to exaggerate a little, a legal crucifixion. They wanted to show what happens to whistle-blowers.

A revealer of secrets in Switzerland: harassed … arrested … sentenced.

The financial center of Switzerland views Rudolf Elmer as an enemy.

The former bank manager exposed how Swiss banks engaged in tax evasion and money laundering.

He violated the principle of banking confidentiality, and published the client data of the Julias Bear Bank of the Cayman Islands.

Rudolf Elmer: I was part of this illicit business. At first, all I saw was the Swiss part of this Dark Side.

But over the years, I myself saw that I was working for the dark side of this organization.”

On closer examination, Rudolf Elmer recognized what he as an auditor was responsible for in the Cayman Islands.

He found evidence of tax evasion and criminal clients.

He tried to alarm his supervisors . . . but nothing changed.

Rudolf Elmer: “It wasn’t right that I had to submit these confirmations that these purchases and sales were commissioned in the Caymans.

They had already been arranged in Zurich.

And in addition, we had downright criminal clients, like Arturo Aposto Chocarro, a Mexican police officer who had been found guilty of money laundering and murder.

And another client was Bin Laden Construction.

When he began asking questions, Rudolf Elmer lost his job.

In 2008, he passed on information to Swiss authorities, and to the whistle-blowing platform Wikileaks.

Rudolf Elmer: “The public prosecutor had all the data and did nothing with it. The issue became world-renowned when Wikileaks published it.

In 2011, Rudolf Elmer made public appearances with Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks.

The bank tried to buy Elmer’s silence.

In 2006, the bank offered to withdraw all its suits against me and pay in half a million Swiss francs.

I would have taken the money too. We could have used it . . .

But I thought . . . No. I’m not going to do it.

I discussed it with my wife and family.

I’m not going to do it, because that would mean covering up for the system again.”

Rudolf Elmer chose to expose the truth rather than accept hush money.

The decision changed his life drastically.

His life as a banker in a tax oasis was over.

“My family suffered because of my decision. The bank conducted a campaign of psychological terror. It hounded us with private detectives for two years.

My daughter didn’t want to live anymore. She was afraid the detective would do something to her. She drew a picture of herself in a casket.

She was six years old.”

But Rudolf Elmer and his family returned to Zurich. Instead of fleeing, he turned himself in.

That mean months in pre-trial custody and court proceedings.

For a long time, the whistle-blower felt isolated.

Today he has the strength to report on his case.

Rudolf Elmer: “Like every other country, Switzerland defends it own golden calves. The golden calf in Switzerland is bank confidentiality.

And the mechanism to protect is the criminal justice system, which has been given the task of protecting this system.”

A serious accusation, but Rudolf Elmer summarizes his experience.

Switzerland has never investigated the issues raised by the data he revealed.

“My goal is to make this transparent; to show how it functions. I can’t do more than that. I won’t change this system. I realize that.

But as an insider, to show how it functions, that’s what I’ve done and that’s what I’ll continue to do.”

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1. Who is Rudolf Elmer?

2. What had he discovered as part of his auditing and other work as a banker?

3. Was Elmer an innocent bystander, did he engage in wrongdoing or was he working with the system?

4. Did Elmer inform his superiors? What was their response?

5. What happened when he began raising more questions?

6. Elmer used Wikileaks. Is this true or false? Why did he do this?

7. As a result of the Wikileaks, the banks began their inside investigations and prosecutions. Is this correct or wrong?

8. He mentioned a “golden calf”. What does this mean?

9. Has anything changed? Has Elmer given up? Has his life changed completely?

A. There is a lot of secrecy in the banking and financial world. What do you think?

B. Swiss authorities have done nothing against the banks. Why haven’t they done anything against the banks?

C. Can Wikileaks and Twitter change things?

D. I am shocked that this is happening in Switzerland. Yes or no?

E. I would like to become a whistleblower. Do you agree? What percent of the population are (potential) whistleblowers?

F. Whistleblowers are heroes and whistleblowing needs to be encouraged. What do you think?

G. What will happen in the future?

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