Questions to ask a whistleblower attorney when you’re in trouble
As a whistleblower pursuing to file a lawsuit with regards to the anomalies in the organization, it is essential that you understand the risk involved. It’s a good idea to understand the laws behind the litigation before hiring a lawyer.
Here are the questions to ask a whistleblower attorney when you’re in trouble:
What is the Whistleblower Policy All About?
The whistleblower program was created by the government to give monetary incentives to individuals to report violations of federal securities laws to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). In this program, eligible whistleblowers can receive 10 to 30% of the monetary sanctions. He can receive it in relation to the actions brought by the SEC and other authorities.
With this program, it prevents retaliation by employers versus their employees. The whistleblower employees provide the SEC with information with regards to the possible securities violations.
Who Can Become a Whistleblower?
Anyone can be a whistleblower if he voluntarily provides the SEC with information with regards to fraud or violations. He also gives information about the violation of federal securities which is occurring or about to occur.
The information is provided voluntarily if the whistleblower provides it to SEC or other authorities before a request. It must be done before demand or inquiry which relates to the same matter.
The provided information must lead to a successful SEC action which results in around $1 million monetary sanctions. Individuals can be named as whistleblowers but organizations cannot be considered as one.
You don’t need to be the company’s employee to file information. Furthermore, the form must be in the manner under the whistleblower rules to be eligible for an award.
Can the SEC Keep the Information Provided as Confidential?
Yes, the SEC keeps the information confidential. They will protect your identity whether or not you wish to be named or not. But take note that there are limitations to the SEC. For example, during court or administrative proceedings, they can be required to produce documents to reveal your identity. Furthermore, they can use the data provided throughout the process.
Furthermore, you can submit your complaint anonymously. To receive the award from the SEC, you must have an attorney that can represent you in the court. Your whistleblower lawyer will submit the documents on your behalf in court.
What Kind of Information to Submit to the SEC?
The SEC investigates possible violations of the laws on a regular basis. If the tip is very specific, the more chances of it to be investigated and followed-up. For example, if the tip forwarded determines the individuals involved in the fraud, it will have a greater chance to be assigned for investigation.
The SEC does not have jurisdiction on information outside its scope. The examples of activities which the SEC is interested are the following:
- Pyramid scheme, Ponzi scheme, and High-yield investment plans
- Misappropriation of funds
- Insider trading
- Unregistered securities
- Fraudulent trading
- False statements about a company
- Abusive selling
- Other fraudulent activities
The original information must refer to data which is derived from independent knowledge. You must know the facts from public sources. Or it can be from an independent analysis that is not known to the SEC. So if the information is from another person, it is not considered as original.
How Can the Information Provided Lead to a Successful Case?
The information you provide to the SEC will be successful if it has caused an investigation. It is also successful if it can re-open a previous investigation or it pursues a new line of questioning. Indeed, successful enforcement of action will be based on the kind of information you have provided.
Moreover, you can still become eligible for a successful case if the information provided is related to an ongoing assessment of the investigation. It can be successful if you report the information first to your organization. Then, the company sends the report directly to the SEC or reports the result of the investigation caused by the information provided. Do the report within 120 days.
As a whistleblower, you must be informed about your rights and don’t hesitate to ask for help from lawyers. Ask questions because the more you know upfront, the fewer surprises you can experience throughout the court proceedings.
Determine how you can become a whistleblower and what kind of information to submit to SEC. Indeed, the information you provide can help prevent fraud in any organization. The SEC takes the information you provided as confidential. But ask your lawyer how can the information lead to a successful case.
Understanding the whistleblower policy by the SEC can help protect yourself from your work. This can also help you determine who to report your complaints. Finally, this can give you peace of mind knowing that the state will keep you safe despite confessions.
Whistleblowers can help achieve justice. You can bring allegations into the light and you have a big role to play in society. With the information provided, it can result in filing criminal charges against the perpetrators and claim civil damages.