Critical Thinking Analysis (45 points)
TCOs: 1: Defining deviance,types of deviance
4: Criminal behavior
8: Organizational deviance
Whistleblower:Hero Becomes the Villain
In January 2010, the New York Daily News reported that
Bradley Birkenfeld, an American citizen and formerly a banker with the giant
Swiss banking corporation UBS AG, is headed to prison to serve a 42-month
sentence.Charged in 2008 by the Justice Department with conspiring to help
wealthy Americans evade taxes, Birkenfeld pled guilty.Ironically, it was
Birkenfeld who alerted U.S. officials in 2007 to the fact that UBS routinely
helped Americans hide assets from the IRS and triggered an investigation that
revealed the biggest tax evasion scheme in U.S. history.
an internal bank document in 2005 that revealed UBS wasnât in compliance with
U.S. tax laws.He reported his discovery to his supervisors and was then
fired.Unable to get a financial settlement for his dismissal from the bank, he eventually
voluntarily started talking to the SEC and the IRS about the bankâs efforts to
help Americans evade taxes.He provided extensive documentation of UBSâs
strategies for avoiding detection of its illegal practices.With Birkenfeldâs
assistance, U.S. investigators uncovered $20 billion in taxpayer assets hidden
overseas, and federal criminal charges were brought against UBS.UBS pleaded
guilty to its role in the tax evasion scheme, paid a $780 million fine, and was
forced to reveal the names of 4,450 American clients to the Justice Departmentâless
than 25% of the 19,000 American accounts the bank admitted to keeping secret
from U.S. tax officials.
Even though, as
officials admit, the massive fraud would not have come to light without him, Birkenfeld
did not fully disclose his own complicity in the tax evasion scheme when he
first contacted American officials.His reward for blowing the whistle was a
criminal indictment and nearly 3 years in federal prison.The bank, meanwhile,
bought its way out of the scandal, which reached as far as the White House: UBS
donated $540,000 to President Obamaâs presidential campaign, and Attorney
General Eric Holder had to recuse himself from the case because he once served
as a lawyer for the Swiss bank.As the Daily
News observed, the Birkenfeld case exposed a lot more than just hidden bank
this case using course concepts we have studied so far.Write an essay that answers
these three questions: how deviance occurred, what kind(s) of deviance occurred,
and at least one theoretical perspective that you think has good explanatory
power with respect to this case.
If you use the text or external resources
remember to use APA citations in the body of your essay and in the
corresponding references section at the end of the essay.Reminder:You cannot
use Wikipedia or the websites of other universities.
Create a Microsoft Word document, using
double-spacing, paragraphs, and subheadings for each component.
There is no set length for your essay,
although 750 words or more will probably be needed to provide sound analysis.
Carefully edit your essay for grammar and
spelling errors and for presentation style.
This assignment is
due by1 minute before midnight on the last Sunday of Week 5.Please submit it
through the Week 5Dropbox.
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