This is part two of my international reward whistleblower series where I address frequently asked questions posed by people who are interested in filing a reward submission to the SEC. International and FCPA whistleblowers who report SEC-regulated companies may be eligible for a reward under the Dodd-Frank program. Part I of this series can be viewed here.
What Type of Evidence is Needed to File a Strong FCPA Reward Case?
The key is to have specific information relating to a bribe of a foreign government official. If an FCPA whistleblower has first-hand knowledge of an SEC-regulated company paying a bribe to a particular government official to obtain a deal or a business advantage, then this could be a good case. Email and financial documents can be very helpful in proving the case but are not necessary if a whistleblower knows all the details relating to a particular FCPA violation. In some cases, hearsay evidence is sufficient. Typically, the SEC is more interested in sales-related bribery than regulatory or non-sales bribery, which might involve bribing immigration and customs officials.
Is it Important to be Interviewed by the SEC?
Yes, clients who agree to be interviewed by the SEC often see their cases progress faster than clients who decline such an opportunity. SEC regulators often like to interview whistleblowers so they can ask follow-up questions and clarify certain areas of their submissions. Interviews also allow regulators to better assess a witness’s credibility.
Can I File a Reward Case If My Contract Contains a Broad Confidentiality Provision?
Yes, the SEC has ruled that companies cannot use confidentiality provisions in employment and severance agreements to prevent employees from making a submission under the Dodd-Frank reward program. In fact, the SEC has sanctioned companies for inserting broad confidentiality provisions in their employment agreements without a specific carve out for reporting to the SEC.
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If anyone has information about an SEC-regulated company engaging in corrupt conduct outside of the U.S., please feel free to contact me for a free confidential consultation.