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Playboy told to pay $6M to whistleblower

It's thought to be the biggest payout made to a whistleblower and it all happened due to a law made in 2002.

Playboy told to pay $6M to whistleblower
Photo by Thomas Lohnes/Getty Images

The ex-controller at Playboy Enterprises, who was let go from her job in 2012 because she refused to "accrue bonuses for high-ranking executives" has been awarded around $6M in damages.

That's because she is protected by a law that fights for whistleblowers. And the employee, Catherine Zulfer, may have now received the highest payout given to whistleblowers.

The employer is Playboy and Reuters reports she will get the payout for wrongful termination. says that she would not go ahead and pay bonuses to top executives because they had not been approved by the board. She told the board about "actual and suspected frauds and improprieties." and then was fired, but a jury deciding on the case heard she was unlawfully fired and her age, at 56, was also held against her.

After she reported her feelings of fraud taking place, CFO for Playboy, Chrisof Pachler pressurized her to accrue bonuses that would go to him and then later he omitted her from meetings and announced the company was going to save money by letting go those who'd been there over 10 years, reports the Courthouse News Service; Zulfer was a 30-year employee.

In a statement, Playboy says it "strongly disagree[s]" with the jury's decision and could appeal the findings. It's possible Playboy may owe Zulfer further payment when other punitive damages are decided later today in California.

(In even wilder fraud-related news, a psychic in Florida was just recently sentenced to 10 yrs in prison over an insane $17.8 million fraud scheme)


Follow Sheila on Twitter (@Sheilamba)

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