Introduction: Whistleblowing in Corporate America

The new millennium ushered in a wave of corporate scandals that cheated ordinary shareholders and employees out of billions of dollars in lifetime savings, investments, and pensions. More than two dozen major accounting scandals followed the October 2001 discovery of Enron’s sham bookkeeping, bribery, and energy market manipulation. Brought to light by whistleblowers at Enron, WorldCom, and other companies, these revelations seriously strained public confidence in the stock market and set off sweeping congressional reforms.

Legislators moved quickly to pass the Public Company Accounting Reform and Investor Protection Act of 2002—commonly known as Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX). Enforcement actions and criminal ...

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