Bank must pay fired whistle-blower
NEW YORK - Bank of America Corp. must pay $930,000 to an employee who uncovered fraud at Countrywide Financial Corp. and was fired in violation of whistle-blower protections, the Department of Labor said.
The employee was terminated soon after the bank took over Countrywide in 2008, the agency said. The worker, who must be reinstated, led internal investigations that found “pervasive wire, mail, and bank fraud involving Countrywide employees,’’ according to the release.
“It’s clear from our investigation that Bank of America used illegal retaliatory tactics,’’ said David Michaels, assistant secretary of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
Bank of America had investigated the claims and is disappointed with the ruling, said spokesman Dan Frahm.
“The bank’s actions in dismissing this associate were solely based on issues with her management style and in no way related to the complaints and allegations she made,’’ Frahm said.
The worker claimed that people who tried to report fraud to Countrywide’s employee-relations department suffered persistent retaliation.