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In announcing the indictments of three Tyco International executives alleged to have received $170 million in unauthorized payments from corporate accounts over a seven-year period, Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau found it “extremely troublesome . . . there was no whistle-blowing in this case.” He lamented, “The board of directors either did not know or did not take any action. Auditors, lawyers . . . you look to a system of checks and balances in corporate governance, and there were none here.”

Morgenthau’s lament could well be answered by the passage of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. That law introduced comprehensive and potent whistle-blower protections to corporate America.

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