It is well known that whistleblowers can face retaliation and hardship. There are endless stories about whistleblowers losing their jobs and facing persecution, while at the same time, their valid concerns go ignored. But there is now another side to whistleblowing. Laws now permit whistleblowers to ignore nondisclosure agreements and work directly with law enforcement agencies to help investigate crimes and hold fraudsters accountable. Under these new laws, whistleblowers are entitled to multi-million dollar monetary rewards. As hard as it is to believe, under these new whistleblower laws, employees have received over $6 billion in rewards under the False Claims Act, the Internal Revenue Code, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and the Securities and Commodities Exchange Acts. Their contributions have been praised by top law enforcement officials as the key to white collar crime detection. Top law enforcement officials have praised their contributions as the key to the detection of white-collar crime.
If done right, whistleblowers can win, and they can win big. Whistleblowers hold powerful corporations accountable. Their evidence can send fraudsters to jail. We know this because the disclosures from our whistleblowers has resulted in billions of dollars in sanctions paid by large corporations and banks that broke the law. Our whistleblowers’ information has sent corrupt managers to prison, sometimes for sentences as long as 10-20 years. And our whistleblowers have been able to collect millions in rewards for their public service.
The key is to understand your whistleblower rights. The new whistleblower reward laws are complex and very technical. If whistleblowing is done correctly you can win your case, obtain financial security, and maintain confidentiality. If done wrong, you can lose your protections, be disqualified from any award, and find yourself without a job or career. You may even go to jail. Understanding whistleblower rights is the heart and soul of winning a case. And, working with experienced whistleblower attorneys is absolutely essential to navigate the maze of laws and rules, all of which must be meticulously followed in order to qualify for confidentiality, protection, and a reward.