Whistleblowers have become important, especially in the securities and financial industries. This is mainly because these markets are notorious for various kinds of schemes and fraud. Therefore, whistleblowers can freely report cases of fraud in companies to the relevant authorities, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and win an award if they meet the right criteria.
Though the U.S. government set up a whistleblowers protection plan, many people still shy away from reporting corruption or fraud cases because they fear that they can put their jobs or life at risk. However, If you want to report a case and keep your job, here is what you need to know.
Get the Right Legal Representation
A whistleblower reports fraud to the SEC because it encourages anyone who has knowledge of securities violations to report to them. However, there is no universal whistleblower law. The rights of anyone who chooses to report cases of fraud depends on the procedures set by state and federal laws.
The level of protection you might get depends on what you disclose, who you disclose it to, and how you disclose it. Before you blow the whistle, you should know your rights and how to protect yourself. The right whistleblower lawyer can help protect you from any type of retaliation and help you keep your job.
Ignore the Stereotypes
Whistleblowers are protected by several laws such as the IRS whistleblower law, Doss-Frank Act, and False Claims Acts. Though these laws and procedures will depend on the state and the report, they will help bring the corruption of the fraudulent individual to justice. No fraud or corruption report goes uninvestigated.
You Might Not Always Win Your Case
The fact that you are doing something right does not mean that you will automatically win. Your lawyer should advise you on whistleblowing laws to not end up paying penalties as you try to do what you thought was right.
There are also statutes of limitations in such cases, and you must adhere to the deadline if you want to win the award. Delaying to report a crime can also be harmful to your rights. The law only gives awards to the first person who raises a red flag.
Protect Your Identity
The SEC allows whistleblowers to remain anonymous. Therefore, you should have a lawyer who will act as the middleman between you and the SEC. This way, your identity will remain a secret to your employer or any other person involved in the case.
Although the law does not allow employers to retaliate against employees who report fraudulent cases, your employer can choose to make your job harder indirectly until you quit voluntarily.
To keep enjoying your job, try to remain anonymous when reporting. Remember, an experienced SEC whistleblower lawyer knows what to do to ensure that their clients go about their life normally.
You Do not Have to Be a U.S. Citizen
Whistleblower laws, including the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and more, have transnational applications that allow citizens from other countries to report cases of fraud and securities violation. The law also rewards anyone from a foreign country who rightfully exposed bribery and fraud outside the United States.
You Can Win
Whistleblowers come in very handy when investigating cases of fraud and corruption. They help expose criminals and are rewarded for the risks they take. If you follow the law and keep your head down, you can win and walk away with a handsome reward.
Talk to a Good SEC Whistleblower Lawyer
If you have any information about fraud, corruption, and securities violation, do not rely on outdated information or myths. Talk to an experienced SEC whistleblower lawyer and know what the law says and how to protect your right and identity.
Interesting related article: “What is Fraud?“