New Yorker files long article on Falciani based on Documentary
Georgina Mikhael has said that Falciani’s overtures to foreign governments were simply a hedge on his efforts to sell the data: if he failed to make a deal with a bank, he would seek a buyer in the intelligence community. He was aware that Germany had paid millions to the leaker from L.G.T. Group, the Liechtenstein bank. In “Falciani’s Tax Bomb,” a 2015 documentary by the British filmmaker Ben Lewis, Mikhael says that it was the Liechtenstein deal that “gave him the idea to sell the data to secret services.” Of course, someone can have a desire to expose wrongdoing and also want to be rewarded for histrouble. Government agreements with whistle-blowers often look morally confused. In 2009, Bradley Birkenfeld, the American banker who leaked documents about illegal activity at U.B.S., was sent to prison for his role in the conspiracy. He served two and a half years. (Though U.B.S. paid a fine, no other executive went to jail for the misconduct that Birkenfeld exposed.) Upon Birkenfeld’s release, he received a government reward of a hundred and four million dollars—the largest ever paid by the I.R.S.”
The New Yorker published a long article on Falciani’s whistleblowing activities last week. Written by veteran journalist Patrick Radden Keefe, the article features quotes from Ben Lewis’ documentary ‘Falciani’s Tax Bomb’. It also strangely bares the original title he suggested for the film which was rejected by producers and broadcasters ‘Bankrobber’.