FCPA Whistleblower Protection
The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) was enacted in 1977 and prohibits those working in the financial industry from providing bribes to foreign officials in order to secure business deals.
When you become aware of an FCPA violation, it is important that you report this information to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) so it can begin investigating as soon as possible.
The FCPA is enforced in business transactions around the world, and tips to the SEC can come from anywhere. If you hope to become a financially rewarded whistleblower, you’ll need to act fast—before someone else has the chance to report your tip before you do. With FCPA whistleblower protection enforced by a qualified attorney, you can move forward without fear of retaliation.
The Dodd-Frank Act and Anti-Retaliation
Probably the number one reason would-be whistleblowers hold themselves back from blowing the whistle on FCPA violations is the fear of retaliation. Particularly with FCPA violations, retaliation is common. That’s because whistleblowing will prevent the company from engaging in a potential money-making business deal with the foreign country in question.
This is despite the fact that the Dodd-Frank Act contains specific provisions that prohibit employers from retaliating against suspected whistleblowers. Retaliation refers to harassment, demotion, ruining your professional reputation, creating a hostile work environment, or termination.
If your employer does retaliate against you, your attorney can help you file a claim that could result in you being reinstated to your former position, receiving back-pay for your losses, and other compensation for damages you’ve suffered because of retaliatory actions.
Additionally, we can notify the SEC of this retaliation. The SEC may impose sanctions of its own against the company that retaliated against you.
Blowing the Whistle on FCPA Violations
For your FCPA violation tip to qualify for a whistleblower reward, it will need to meet very specific criteria, including the following:
- Your tip must be given voluntarily—prior to you being questioned by the SEC.
- You must be the first whistleblower to provide the tip, and it must have been gathered through a non-public source (commonly referred to as being “original”).
- The information you provide must lead to the SEC being able to take enforceable action against the fraudulent individual or company.
- The SEC needs to be able to recover sanctions that exceed $1,000,000; of that, you will be entitled to between 10 and 30 percent, depending on how valuable your tip was to the investigation.
Although you might be concerned with the threat of retaliation by your employer, a qualified and experienced lawyer can help you submit your tip anonymously and protect your identity from becoming known unless or until the SEC determines you are entitled to a whistleblower award.
At that time, the SEC will need to know your identity, but it will not be made public. Protecting your anonymity will hopefully prevent your employer from finding out that you blew the whistle so you don’t have to be concerned with retaliation.
Consult a Lawyer for FCPA Whistleblower Protection
To discuss the FCPA violation you’ve become aware of with a qualified whistleblower lawyer at Meissner Associates, fill out the secure contact form at the bottom of the page or give our office a call at 1-866-764-3100.