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Interview With A Whistleblower: "The Spirit of Resistance is Alive and Well"

By       Message Barry Sussman     Permalink
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I did not feel right about what the Department of Labor was doing. I objected to it in the most fundamental terms and at my most basic visceral level of conscience. After nine months of resisting the Department of Labor's misguided demands that I participate in its abuse of the businessman who sponsored the Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP), a "final straw" moment occurred. That moment occurred in 2010. The Department went too far by asking me to file a false declaration to the judge in case number 2:2010cv09662 with the intent to falsely preserve the case from being dismissed. 

The Department of Labor sent a threatening letter and then began legal proceedings against me in retaliation. The letter stated that the Department had launched an "official" investigation against me; its only cause was because I would not capitulate. Later, in 2011, the Department of Labor told the press that it had only launched the investigation at that time, nearly two years later, to coordinate its story with an unrelated matter that it intended to use as leverage against me, and to raise a smoke screen to cloak the 2010 matter. The unrelated matter is discussed in greater detail in the PBS Frontline documentary notes. 

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PBS Television's Frontline was preparing to air a documentary supporting Hutcheson, but appears to have been dissuaded from doing so


Q. At the time you identified the misconduct at the DOL, did it ever occur to you that you would be facing retribution?

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A. Never. My relationship with the Department of Labor had been very good until 2009, and I believed the matter could be worked out without me going to the media; without me making a public statement, or seeking to humiliate the Department of Labor. I was wrong. In hindsight I should have gone public in the biggest possible way. I advise all other whistleblowers to not give the federal government any credit. The government is no longer trustworthy. If someone discovers the government's involvement in something improper, shout it from the rooftops as loudly as you can.

Q. How did you feel about America's system of justice prior to your charges and how have your feelings changed as a result of your experience in federal court?

A. Until recently, I have always respected the government. I love the United States of America and the ideal it beacons to the world is worth protecting. The indictment process was disturbing. A person should be notified if they are being investigated so they can at least tell his or her side of the story. Federal prosecutors are notorious for targeting a person, and then engineering charges tailor made specifically for that person. If that person does not know what the prosecutor is telling the grand jury, whether it is true or not, there is nothing that person can do. Once the indictment is made, his or her reputation is forever destroyed. I've learned that is the point. If the government can just bring an indictment, it will exact enough damage in most cases to take the whistleblower out. But the federal government does not quite grasp that the spirit of resistance (Thomas Jefferson) is alive and well in the United States.   The U.S. Attorney's office has become the enemy of "We the People." No one respects the Department of Justice anymore. It has brought it upon itself.  It is so sad, and disappointing. 

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Hutcheson's experience with the federal criminal justice systems leads him to believe that Jefferson's "spirit of resistance" is very much alive 


Q. How has your experience changed the way you view other federal prosecutions? 

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A. When I hear of a federal indictment, I immediately think of injustice. Prior to my indictment, I used to think, "oh, that person must have done something; that person must be guilty. Why else would the government spend all of those resources pursuing that person?" But today, I think there is something nefarious going on; something dark, politically motivated, a vendetta by someone in power, silencing someone the federal government fears. That is proving to be true more often than not. 

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The FBI, on orders from the DOJ, routinely contrives loosely defined "crimes," allowing targeted individuals to be mercilessly prosecuted


I truly believe all Americans, especially those who are engaged in sophisticated, innovative economic engineering, are in grave danger of being indicted and prosecuted for reasons that have nothing to do with the concocted charges. Prosecutors know that if private sector innovation cannot be easily comprehended by governmental employees, a jury will not likely understand, making the chance of conviction very high. So prosecutors pursue its enemies who are engaged in very technical, sophisticated transactions and projects. It is a convenient way to cloak fake charges behind a complex fact set. That posture against the American people is more like cold war Russia than it is our beloved United States of America.

Q. How do others perceive your legal problems? Do you believe they understand what has gone on behind the scenes, or do they simply assume you "must have done something?"

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Barry Scott Sussman- Born and raised in New Jersey. Graduated from Rutgers University with a BA in Sociology. Graduated with a JD from the Benjamin Cardozo School of Law specializing in Federal Criminal Procedure and Federal Prosecutorial (more...)

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