Citigroup Whistleblower, Now a Jindal School of Management Prof: Behind the ‘60 Minutes’ Story

Richard Bowen, a former vice president at Citigroup, tried to warn the bank’s senior management and board of directors about the increasing levels of defective mortgages he was seeing.  The news program, 60 Minutes, recently featured his experiences in a story focusing on why large Wall Street banks have not been prosecuted under the Sarbanes-Oxley law.

Bowen, who also testified before a congressional commission and is now a professor of accounting at UT Dallas, on Feb. 6 will offer a glimpse behind the scenes of the troubled mortgage industry at the heart of the nation’s financial meltdown.

Prosecuting Wall Street

UT Dallas adjunct professor Richard Bowen is featured on a 60 Minutes segment titled “Prosecuting Wall Street.”  The program is available online.

Bowen will speak about his experience and provide a look into the root causes of the mortgage crisis at the Andrew R. Cecil Lecture Series on Monday, Feb. 6 at 6 p.m. in the Davidson Auditorium at the Naveen Jindal School of Management. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Bowen began teaching, initially as an adjunct professor at the Jindal School in spring 2008, bringing 35 years’ experience in banking, including executive positions in finance, credit and information technology.

Before joining UT Dallas, Bowen was a senior vice president and chief business underwriter in the consumer lending division of Citigroup and was responsible for evaluating the quality of $90 billion of mortgages that Citigroup was buying annually from Countrywide and other mortgage lenders. Bowen was in charge of ensuring the mortgages met Citigroup’s policies with no signs of fraud or unqualified borrowers. But in 2006, he discovered that 60 percent of the mortgages he evaluated in his largest channel were defective.

“I started raising those warnings in June of 2006. The volumes increased through 2007 and the rate of defective mortgages increased to an excess of 80 percent,” Bowen told Steve Kroft in an interview that aired on 60 Minutes in December 2011.

“There are things that obviously went on in this crisis and decisions that were made that people need to be accountable for,” Bowen said during the interview.

During the lecture at UT Dallas, Bowen will tell audience members about the ethical choices he made during his experience at Citigroup and the repercussions and consequences he still faces. He will also tell the story behind his nationally televised testimony before the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission.

UT Dallas established the Andrew R. Cecil Lecture Series in 1979 in collaboration with the late Dr. Cecil, who was then a Distinguished Scholar in Residence. Cecil delivered the first lecture and spoke in each subsequent series until his death in 1996.

The Andrew R. Cecil Lecture Series reflects Cecil’s wide-ranging interests – in moral reasoning, philosophical principles, education, justice and more – but in particular, the lectures frequently are devoted to the topic of ethical values in a free society.

Jindal School Professor Gregory C. Dess, Andrew R. Cecil Endowed Chair in Applied Ethics, will host this lecture. The audience is invited to attend a speaker reception in the first-floor atrium of the Jindal School prior to the event.

Richard Bowen is a former vice president at Citigroup.

Media Contact: The Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected].