Whistleblower Laws and Programs
In order to encourage honest citizens to come forward and expose a fraud, the U.S. Government created whistleblower laws and programs during the past 30 years. Individuals who blow the whistle play a central role in fighting corruption both in the United States and abroad. These programs allow U.S. residents and citizens of foreign countries to report instances where a company or individual defrauds or steals money from the federal authorities, fails to pay taxes or violates Federal Securities and Foreign Corrupt Practices law. In exchange for their contribution, financial bounties are provided as rewards.
Between 1987 and 2015, the U.S. government directly paid over $5.5 billion to whistleblowers. While the average whistleblower reward was approximately $1.5, some of them reached more than $100 million.
Choosing the Right Program(s)
Fraudulent conduct often falls under multiple whistleblower programs. For example, a medical device company that pays millions in bribes to foreign officials in India is violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and subject to a Securities claim. That company may also be unlawfully claiming the kickbacks as business expenses, in which case the relator could also file a tip through the IRS Office.
Cases initiated by those who blew the whistle have recovered over $40 billion since 1987. In response, corporations are using increasingly sophisticated techniques to cheat the authorities and hide their wrongdoing. To combat this, the U.S. government has enacted additional laws and strengthened existing practices to better protect those who come forward and make the process easier and more rewarding. These recent changes include provisions that allow individuals to report an illegal scheme anonymously for certain types of cases and for citizens of other countries to also collect awards.
In addition to the federal programs, dozens of state legislatures have passed laws similar to the False Claims Act. It’s not uncommon to receive rewards from both a Federal FCA settlement and several state programs as well.
United States Federal Whistleblower Programs And Laws
The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) Law
The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act prohibits bribing foreign officials for the purpose of obtaining or facilitating business. Under the Dodd-Frank Act, both U.S. citizens and foreign residents may report FCPA violations.
The Securities and Exchange (SEC) Program
Enacted through the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act, the Securities qui tam program pays rewards to individuals who report stock fraud or violations of any securities law enforced by the SEC.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Whistleblower Program:
Congress passed the IRS qui tam law in 2006. This program allows individuals to report cases of tax fraud or large tax underpayment and share in any monies recovered as a result.
Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Incentives and Protection
This office is modeled and often works in conjunction with the SEC Whistleblower Office. The CFTC pays relators who provide information that leads to a successful enforcement action against illegal conducts in the trading of commodities, such as oil, gas, and foreign currencies.
We will help you make informed decisions, organize and facilitate your claim, and advocate on your behalf during your case to maximize your reward.
Get in touch for a free & confidential consultation today by calling (800) 689-8552 or filing a form on our site.
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