With the signing of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (“the Act”) on July 21, 2010, the federal government was given a powerful tool to combat fraud: YOU. The Act created significant new financial incentives to file a whistleblower report with the SEC and also created tough protections from retaliation by employers.
What does the Act say?
Section 922 of the Act creates a whistleblower bounty program that allows the SEC to pay an award to those who voluntarily provide it with original information concerning violations of the federal securities laws, as well as the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, that leads to the collection of over $1 million in sanctions.
Am I a whistleblower?
A “whistleblower” is any person or group of people who provides information relating to a violation of the securities laws to the SEC through official channels as described in SEC rules and regulations.
What is original information?
“Original information” refers to information that is not known to the SEC and includes information discovered by a person’s independent knowledge or analysis.
How much of an award can a whistleblower collect?
The award paid to a whistleblower can range between 10% and 30% of the total “monetary sanctions” imposed or collected from a successful action over $1 million.
Will I be fired or punished for being a whistleblower?
Section 922 of the Act specifically prohibits employers from retaliating against whistleblowers. Employers may not fire, demote, suspend, threaten, harass, or discriminate against a whistleblower. Whistleblowers who suffer from these types of employment retaliation may sue for reinstatement, double back pay with interest, litigation costs, expert witness fees, reasonable attorney’s fees, and any other damages that occurred.
How do I know if I have original information?
If you believe you have original information of a violation of the federal securities laws, or would like help determining if the information you have is original, please contact us for a free, confidential consultation at (212) 742-1414 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.