"A Just Cause"
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By James H. Holzrichter, Sr.


Joseph E. B. “Jeb” White, Esq.
Former President & C.E.O., Taxpayers Against Fraud


The general public is largely unaware of the treacherous and uneven path journeyed by whistleblowers.  Marked to an exceptional degree by silence, mystery, and misunderstanding, whistleblowers, time and time again, stand up, show up, and suit up for the American people, oftentimes to the detriment of their own personal security, serenity, and even safety. Indeed, the “typical” whistleblower remains an elusive figure, even though they are widely credited with being the driving force behind the federal government’s anti-fraud efforts. The reality is that whistleblowers oftentimes toil on behalf of the public interest well outside of the limelight, buried beneath layers of misdirected clichés and concealed behind the protections of statutory seal provisions and attorney-client privileges. Thus, the story of a typical whistleblower appears as a series of disconnected images, ranging from the courageous champion of morality, fearless and unbending, to the uncertain insider, reluctantly challenging corporate giants. It is often difficult to reconcile the varied images into a single picture.

Others have certainly tried.  In fact, in recent years, there has been a growing fascination about whistleblowers, inspiring prose and film, and begetting “whistleblower experts” of every stripe. The mass media has further fed the popular interest by cloaking, or burdening, various individuals with the “whistleblower” label. Yet even in this heyday of increased interest, the tale of true whistleblowers seems distorted and diluted, with narratives cobbled together by those who are unburdened by experience.

Unfortunately, the person behind the whistleblower mask often seems to be missing from the story, briefly floating in and out of the timeline. In turn, for the apologists for corporate fraudsters, “whistleblower” has become an easy shorthand for the faceless disgruntled employee who exacts his revenge by sinking the corporate ship. On the other side of the ledger, advocates are quick to bestow the “whistleblower” crown on countless champions of justice, oftentimes whitewashing the individual’s inner struggles of doubt and misfortune. So steadfastly have people clung to these extreme views that we still lack an account that fully reveals the inner and outer struggles of the whistleblower and distills them into a fully developed portrait.

By sharing his firsthand, unvarnished experience of struggle and survival, Jim Holzrichter finally provides us with a more complete picture of what it actually means to blow the whistle on dishonest corporations. As his all-too-real story ably shows, whistleblowing is not an event, but a process fraught with obstacles, large and small. This reality should be fully understood and appreciated, especially by those who are contemplating blowing the whistle on corporate fraud.

Admittedly, not all whistleblowers travel the same path; however, Holzrichter’s long, hard-fought odyssey exposes the full gamut of the whistle blowing experience. Indeed, the proverbial silver lining is that his personal story maps out the landscape, exposes the potential pitfalls, and reveals the terrain, permitting others to fully understand the treacherous personal and professional journey that awaits would-be whistleblowers even as it illustrates the self-survival importance of our supporting and protecting them as a nation.

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