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Fiat Chrysler's U.S. Sales Head Files Whistleblower Lawsuit Against Automaker

fiatchrysler jun06 lt

Fiat Chrysler's U.S. Sales Head Reid Bigland has filed a "whistleblower" lawsuit against the auto giant alleging that he has been made a scapegoat over the federal probe into the brand's inflated sales reporting practices.

According to the Detroit News, Bigland said he cooperated with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and testified about the sales reports. Bigland says the sales report practices predated his appointment to the position of sales chief in 2011.

Bigland claims Fiat Chrysler executives cut his pay by 90% for cooperating with the investigation and used it to pay fines or settlements reached with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The lawsuit said the automaker's actions will cost Bigland more than $1.8 million in his bonus and stock payout.

"We note the lawsuit filed by Reid Bigland. His eligibility for incentive compensation -- like that of all corporate officers -- is subject to a determination by the Board of Directors' compensation committee that he has satisfied the applicable company and personal performance conditions," FCA representatives said in a statement to The Detroit News.

"Mr. Bigland's eligibility for his award remains subject to that determination and completion of a Board-level evaluation of issues that are the subject to governmental investigations (as previously disclosed by FCA) in which FCA continues to cooperate. Beyond that, it would be inappropriate to comment on ongoing litigation or internal compensation processes."

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