Securities Fraud Law Firm Answers Your Whistleblower Questions
With the signing of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the Dodd-Frank 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 Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) and developed tough protections from employer retaliation.
The experienced whistleblower and securities fraud attorneys at Zamansky LLC have prepared a list of frequently asked questions about whistleblower actions under the Dodd-Frank Act. To learn more about the specific provisions of this Act, along with the Federal False Claims Act, see Whistleblower Laws.
What incentives exist for reporting illegal or fraudulent activity?
Section 922 of the Dodd-Frank Act creates a whistleblower bounty program that allows the SEC to pay an award to those who voluntarily provide the SEC 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. The Act covers a wide range of violations, including unauthorized trading, insider trading, accounting fraud and bribery. To learn more about the specifics of the Dodd-Frank Act, see Whistleblower Laws.
Am I a whistleblower?
A “whistleblower” is any person or group of people who provide 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 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 our securities fraud law firm.
Why types of 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?
The Dodd-Frank 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 sustained.
Can I remain anonymous?
The Act allows a whistleblower to remain anonymous when the whistleblower files his or her complaint through an attorney. This anonymity continues until the time the whistleblower receives a cash reward. When the reward is paid, the name of the whistleblower must be disclosed.
How do I know if I should blow the whistle?
The decision to act as a whistleblower is not easy. Individuals contemplating such a decision should discuss their case with an experienced whistleblower attorney before taking any actions. The whistleblower lawyers at the securities fraud law firm of Zamansky LLC will investigate your claim, advise you of your rights, protections and options under the law, and guide you through each step of the process.
If you have additional questions or want to learn more about how the securities fraud attorneys at our law firm can help, please contact us for a free, confidential consultation at (212) 742-1414 or by completing our online contact form.