By Stuart Gittleman
NEW YORK, July 31 (Thomson Reuters Accelus) - Compliance officers have a duty to become whistleblowers if their concerns are not heeded internally, Neil Barofsky, the watchdog over the U.S. financial crisis bailout program, told Compliance Complete in an interview.
Exposing wrongdoing is the only way to eradicate a “cancer” of fraud that can endanger companies and the larger economy, said Barfosky, who also in the interview warned on dangers of a revolving door between financial regulators and Wall Street.
Barofsky was appointed Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program in the aftermath of the September 2008 financial crash by President George W. Bush and served from mid-December through March 2011, when he left to teach at New York University School of Law.
As SIGTARP, Barofsky and his colleagues were tasked with reporting on whether the relief program, or TARP, was using funds as Congress intended, and with preventing the misuse or theft of trillions of dollars of public funds.
Before coming to Washington D.C., Barofsky was a Manhattan federal prosecutor whose work resulted in the convictions of Columbian drug dealers, the men behind the Refco scam initial public offering, and mortgage fraudsters who preyed on homeowners who were desperately seeking to avoid foreclosure.