A WHISTLEBLOWER RECOGNIZES MASSIVE FRAUD AT A MILITARY CONTRACTOR AND BEGINS AN ARDUOUS JOURNEY FOR HIM AND HIS FAMILY THAT SPANS MORE THAN 17 YEARS, ON “WHISTLEBLOWER,” FRIDAY, JULY 27
“The Case Against Northrop” – James Holzrichter thought he had landed his dream job working at Northrop, one of the top military contractors in the world. But, once he moved from testing equipment to “product assurance” – ensuring that the company was properly billing the government for parts – he began to notice some disturbing trends. Host Alex Ferrer examines the whistleblower case against Northrop, on WHISTLEBLOWER, Friday, July 27 (8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.
“I was finding discrepancies, things that just didn’t add up,” Holzrichter says. “I came to believe that the company might be double- or even triple-billing for these expensive parts to the U.S. government. And this was adding up to the tune of millions of dollars.”
But when Holzrichter was told to back off when he brought his concerns to his superiors, he began to suspect that the billing irregularities were intentional.
“All of the indicators were showing that there may be actual fraud,” he says. “I wanted no part of this. I could see myself going to jail.”
Eventually, Holzrichter decided to become a whistleblower, smuggling documents out of the secure facility taped to his body. Over time, the risks added up.
“I found myself up against one of the most powerful corporations in the country,” he says. “My phones were tapped, and even my cars were tampered with. I almost lost my life.
Holzrichter says he doesn’t know who was responsible for the phone tapping or car tampering.
The case dragged on for more than 17 years, eventually costing Holzrichter his career. He and his wife were forced to move their family into a homeless shelter and work menial jobs, including delivering newspapers and managing a gas station.
For the first time, the entire Holzrichter family sits down to talk openly about what they went through.
“The cost is so much,” Holzrichter says to his five children, now grown. “How do I give you back your childhood?”
WHISTLEBLOWER is a series that takes a thrilling look into the real-life David vs. Goliath stories of heroic people who put everything on the line in order to expose illegal and often dangerous wrongdoing when major corporations rip off U.S. taxpayers. Each edition introduces cases in which ordinary people step up to do the extraordinary by risking their careers, their families and even their lives to ensure others are not harmed or killed by unchecked, unethical corporate greed.
Emmy Award winner Susan Zirinsky (48 HOURS, 48 HOURS: NCIS) serves as senior executive producer. Alex Ferrer and Ted Eccles serve as executive producers. WHISTLEBLOWER is produced by CBS News for CBS Television Studios.
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