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Former compliance officer accuses company

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One job hazard for compliance officers is that they run the risk of being indicted for negligence should their company run afoul of the law.

One way to combat that risk is to essentially go on offense, which is exactly what a former compliance officer at Siemens has done. A note from Ernst & Young said that the former executive, who worked at the company's China unit, has filed a lawsuit in New York. It accuses the company of "deliberately undermining" an internal anti-corruption program that was set up in 2008, in the wake of the famous FCPA case against the engineering giant.

The timing was shrewd in that the company's CFO had recently touted the very anti-corruption program that the former employee said was being undermined. The details of this are scant as of now, but the gambit by the former executive highlights a tactic that might become a little more common.

We've seen whistleblowers roll the dice to shocking success in recent years, especially in the financial service industry. At some point, the massive incentives for whistleblowers may spark more compliance officers, who might be in a position to know about all sort of wrong-doing, to take a flyer.

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