Citigroup whistleblower talks ethics at UNT speaker series

Friday, February 20, 2015 - 21:21

DENTON (UNT), Texas — Citigroup whistleblower Richard Bowen – who is known for repeatedly warning the bank about risky behavior and the potential for losses due to fraudulent mortgage lending practices – will talk about ethical leadership in the UNT College of Business Distinguished Speaker Series.

Bowen's lecture will be at 10 a.m. March 6 (Friday) in Room 80 of the Business Leadership Building, located at 1307 W. Highland St. in Denton. Admission is free.

Taking lessons learned from his 35 years of business experience, Bowen will share techniques to engage leaders and organizations in responsible management and to discuss ways organizations can instill values that prevent ethical misconduct and missteps.

Bowen, who served as Citigroup's business chief underwriter during the housing bubble and coinciding recession that began in late 2007, has stated publicly and in the media that he told executive management the company was certifying poor mortgages as quality mortgages and then selling them to investors like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Bowen then watched Citigroup leadership ignore his warnings and withhold the information from shareholders – a violation of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 – before finally taking away most of his responsibilities, placing him on administrative leave and telling him he was no longer needed. But before he was fired, he gave the Securities and Exchange Commission more than 1,000 pages of documents marking the fraudulent practices, and he testified before the commission. In 2010, he also gave testimony before the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission and was a key witness against Citigroup practices during the mortgage crisis. Despite his attempts, no one has been prosecuted for the mortgage lending practices of Citigroup or other financial institutions.

For information about future speakers, visit the website of the UNT College of Business Distinguished Lecture Series.

About the Distinguished Speaker Series

The UNT College of Business Distinguished Speaker Series provides students and faculty with an opportunity to interact with prominent executives and community leaders. It offers students first-hand information about the complexities of the business world, while inspiring them to seek new ways to meet the challenges of tomorrow. Speakers share their views about successful management styles, possible career paths, critical industry-related issues and qualities conducive to successful business leadership. These lectures seek to enhance the educational experience of students in the College of Business while showcasing programs, faculty and students to the international business community.

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