FCPA Whistleblower Lawyer
The SEC takes violations of the FCPA seriously. The SEC is willing to reward people with good information. If you have this, contact a whistleblower lawyer.
Under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), it is illegal for U.S. persons and public companies to bribe foreign officials in order to get or keep a business deal. The Department of Justice enforces this. But those with knowledge of foreign bribery can tell the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). They may receive a whistleblower reward.
Under the Dodd-Frank Act, whistleblowers receive strong legal protections plus the potential for a reward. This makes the SEC the best option for reporting violations of the FCPA. To take full advantage of these protections, whistleblowers must report their tip through legal counsel.
Meissner Associates has in-depth knowledge of whistleblower law. You’ll want that on your side when reporting an FCPA violation. By working with an FCPA whistleblower lawyer from our firm, you’ll have a better chance of getting an award and legal protection.
What Is the FCPA?
The goal of the FCPA is to prevent U.S. people and companies from influencing the business interests of foreign officials through payments and other forms of reward. It has two primary provisions:
Promoting transparent accounting practices when U.S. entities engage in business with foreign entities
Preventing and sanctioning foreign bribery
The FCPA distinguishes between bribes and so-called “grease payments.” A bribe is intended to get or keep a business deal. A grease payment is meant to facilitate a business deal. The FCPA allows foreign officials to be paid grease payments in order to prod tasks they are already duty-bound to do.
When Is the SEC Interested in FCPA Violations?
The SEC is one of the two primary enforcement agencies of the FCPA. The SEC is interested in investigating any FCPA violation. Since 2010, the SEC has increased its investigations of such violations and even created a special unit for FCPA enforcement.
Foreign bribery for business purposes is common. There are more FCPA violations than the SEC can discover on its own. The SEC relies on whistleblowers to help them uncover foreign bribery and questionable accounting practices that violate the FCPA.
Unlike with securities fraud, FCPA violations do not have a materiality consideration. Instead, it’s simply a question of intent. The distinction between a bribe and a grease payment is key. A whistleblower lawyer can help you determine the intention of the payment. They can also tell whether the SEC is likely to investigate.
Bribes don’t have to be monetary in nature. Gifts and services might also count. It all comes down to intention. Was a gift or service made with the intention of getting or keeping a business deal?
FCPA Whistleblower Rewards
Under the Dodd-Frank Act, the SEC can reward whistleblowers for supplying relevant and original information to them. While this normally applies to securities fraud and inadequate corporate disclosures, reporting an FCPA violation might also entitle you to an award.
If the SEC launches an investigation and imposes sanctions that exceed $1 million, you may receive a percentage of the amount collected. This percentage ranges between 10 and 30 percent. The exact number depends on several factors:
- How long you waited before becoming a whistleblower
- How essential your info was to the SEC investigation
- Whether you were able to assist in the SEC investigation
Any complicity in the FCPA violation is also a factor. You could be sanctioned for your actions. Your fine will be deducted from any reward. Guilt in the FCPA violation can also lead to other legal consequences. Discuss your involvement with your whistleblower lawyer.
Dodd-Frank also protects whistleblowers to encourage them to come forward. But you may still feel that staying anonymous is important.
By working with legal counsel, you likely won’t need to reveal your identity to the SEC until it’s time to receive your reward. Even then, the SEC does not publicly reveal whistleblowers’ identities. An exception is if doing so is required by a court or administrative proceeding. This is rare.
You are also protected against retaliation from the target of the SEC’s investigation. You cannot be harassed, threatened, demoted, suspended, or otherwise retaliated against for exposing an FCPA violation.
If you are retaliated against, you have a right to seek legal remedy through the court system. This could make you eligible to receive the following:
- Reinstatement to your position
- Double back pay
- Reimbursement for legal costs
Become an FCPA Whistleblower
By blowing the whistle on violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, you stand to be rewarded well. At Meissner Associates, we have been representing whistleblowers in different industries since 2001. We have experience going after the largest bounty possible. In fact, we represented the whistleblower who received the largest accounting-related SEC reward to date.
You need practical experience and in-depth knowledge of whistleblower law on your side. Connecting with our firm is the right choice to make. Our founder even helped write the SEC rules that reward and protect whistleblowers. This firsthand familiarity can work directly to your benefit.
An experienced FCPA whistleblower lawyer wants to help you. To submit your tip for a free and confidential evaluation, simply complete the form below or give us a call at 1-866-764-3100. We can help you determine how strong your information is and whether the SEC is likely to reward you.