International whistleblowers who report FCPA violations of SEC-regulated companies may be eligible for a reward under the Dodd-Frank program. This is part one of a series that answers frequently asked questions posed by international whistleblowers who are interested in filing a reward submission with the SEC.
Does the U.S. Government Really Pay International Whistleblowers?
Yes, many rewards have been paid to foreign and international whistleblowers. One of the largest rewards – more than $30 million dollars – was paid to an international whistleblower. One of the latest reward payouts – more than $4.1 million – was paid to a foreign national living outside of the U.S.
Should International and FCPA Whistleblowers Report Directly to the SEC?
Yes, with only a couple of minor exceptions, international and FCPA reward whistleblowers should file directly with the SEC and not report internally to their companies. This is important for international FCPA whistleblowers because filing with the SEC under Dodd-Frank is the only way to guarantee federal protection against retaliation.
Courts have held that international whistleblowers who are reporting outside of the U.S. are not protected by the anti-retaliation provisions in Sarbanes-Oxley. The Supreme Court in Digital Realty Trust v. Somers is addressing whether whistleblowers must report to the SEC in order to be afforded protection under the Dodd-Frank Act’s anti-retaliation provisions. This is extremely significant for international FCPA whistleblowers because if the Supreme Court rules for the company, it means that FCPA whistleblowers must report directly to the SEC in order to be protected against retaliation.
Does the U.S. Government Protect the Identities of International Whistleblowers?
Yes, the SEC protects the identities of international whistleblowers who file reward submissions pursuant to the Dodd-Frank reward program. FCPA whistleblowers also may file anonymously via counsel under the SEC’s reward program for an additional layer of protection.
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If anyone has information about an SEC-regulated company engaging in corrupt practices and would like to discuss whether his or her information is reward eligible, please feel free to contact me for a free confidential consultation.