FCA sales chief files whistleblower suit in wake of sales investigation

FCA's Reid Bigland is suing the company to recover compensation.

Fiat Chrysler's Reid Bigland is suing the company claiming that it withheld compensation from him in retaliation for cooperating with a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission investigation into its sales reporting tactics prior to July of 2016.

Bigland filed a brief outlining FCA's reporting methodology used for decades with the SEC during the highly publicized inquiry. His suit claims that this disclosure made him the subject of retaliation by FCA board members who have declined to authorize his full compensation for 2018, Reuters reports.

Bigland claims FCA is trying to make him a scapegoat for accounting practices that predated his tenure as the company's sales chief, withholding his compensation as punishment for a system that was in place as far back as the late 1980s.

The investigation into FCA's sales reporting started began in July, 2016, after lawsuits alleged that FCA was paying kickbacks to dealers for artificially inflating sales figures and engaging in other practices such as walking back sales that were reported on the final business day of each month.

Later that month, FCA released revised figures, which showed that the company's hot streak (which was originally claimed to be unimpeded from April, 2010 until the scandal broke) had actually ended in September of 2013. At the time, FCA insisted that any misreported figures were the result of dealer manipulation rather than anything at the corporate level.

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