image of Richard M Bowen III, originally from CBS interview, reproduced in the NYT article linked below. Richard M. Bowen III tried to tell his story on November 7, 2007 , when he was a Citibank executive in charge of mortgage underwriting. Bowen sent these words to top Citibank exectives: "The reason for this urgent e-mail concerns breakdowns of internal controls and resulting significant but possibly unrecognized financial losses existing within our organization." He detailed that the job he was doing--buying billions of dollars worth of "bad" mortgage loans, and packaging them into investments that would be resold--was creating serious problems for Citibank because they were over-valuing the investments. In other words, he described the crux of what would become the financial crisis that exploded in 2008. He was called the following week by Citibank attorneys and was told to keep quiet and wait to hear from them. They never contacted him. Bowen's responsibilities were reduced and he was marginalized within the company. In April 2008, he filed a whistle-blowing complaint, under Sarbanes-Oxley, with the Securities and Exchange Commission. He testified before the SEC, and filed over 1,000 pages of supporting documents, but there was no follow-up investigation. Meanwhile, Citibank received $45 million in taxpayer bailout funds as part of the "Too Big To Fail" deal engineered by Henry Paulson. (The U.S. government later parlayed the government's ownership position as a part of this deal into a $12 million profit.) Bowen was fired from Citibank in January, 2009, and had to sign a confidentiality agreement in order to get a severance package. In February 2010, Bowen was called to testify before the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission . Although his later testimony on April 7 of that year is a part of the public record, the 4-hour testimony in February, with lawyers present, was sealed and cannot be accessed until 2016. Perhaps coincidentally, this would be after the five-year statute of limitations period for fraud has passed. Several events transpired between the initial FCIC meeting in February and the later public testimony, but the bottom line was that Bowen was pressured by Bradley J. Bondi (FCIC's deputy general counsel) as well as Citibank's lawyers, to sanitize his statement. Bowen decided that "it’s better to get something on record than nothing.” He made the requested edits. To him, the FCIC was clearly not functioning as an independent government investigatory commission, but was being strong-armed by Wall Street firms who had the power to affect the future careers of all parties concerned. As it happens, Bondi is now a partner in a Washington D.C. law firm and Citibank is one of its clients. Richard Bowen has this to say about the whole debacle: " It was devastating. It truly was. From my standpoint, the corruption extends to the highest levels of government. I feel absolutely, completely violated. " Source: " Was This Whistle-Blower Muzzled? " by William D. Cohan, New York Times, September 21, 2013. Follow up: Read, in the linked article, the detail of the events that transpired among Richard Bowen, the FCIC and Citibank's law firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP. What do you think happened here? What alternative courses of action might have been taken, and what are the pros and cons of each--for Mr. Bowen, for Citibank, and for the American taxpayer?